Wearing the same stoic expression he used to retire six of the seven batters he faced Sunday, Zack Greinke explained his approach toward spring training games in the Dodgers’ clubhouse.
“I try to not pay any attention to the results,” Greinke said. “If you’re getting hit pretty hard then you have to think about it a little bit. I don’t take anything positive from it. I guess you only take the negative out, for the most part.”
It seems Greinke won’t spend much time thinking about his first appearance in a Dodgers uniform. He threw two scoreless innings that followed the script almost perfectly. Greinke tossed 11 pitches, all for strikes.
The right-hander said he liked only 50 percent of his pitches. One was a slider, “and it was good so I guess that was the best pitch.” The others were fastballs and changeups and curveballs. The one hit was a clean single up the middle by Jeff Keppinger in the first inning.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that Greinke’s next start will be Friday, March 1, in one of two split-squad games (Hyun-Jin Ryu will start the other).
“I thought Zack was good,” the manager said. “When you look at Zack, he looks a lot like Kersh. They know what they’re doing, they’re out there to work on stuff, he knows exactly what he wants to do. He’ll tell you what he’s happy with or not happy with.”
Unlike Kershaw, who said he’d rather pitch than sit, Greinke said he had no inkling either way about pitching the final week of February. Some managers, such as White Sox skipper Robin Ventura, are resting their projected five starters until March.
“Usually,” Greinke said, “I’m ready by the last two starts of spring.”