The Colorado Rockies–picked to finish in the cellar of the National League’s West Division–will take any help they can get.
The Rockies were in San Diego on Thursday, enjoying the day off on the heels of a disastrous three-game stop in which they were swept by the San Francisco Giants. Some of the players probably had a chance to take in the game between the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park.
The bottom of the sixth inning was where the Rockies caught their potential break.
Dodgers’ pitcher Zack Greinke hit the Padres’ Carlos Quentin in the left shoulder with a pitch. Quentin charged the mound and Greinke thought he’d play the tough guy. This was hardly a Nolan Ryan vs. Robin Ventura moment.
Greinke is listed as being 6-foot-2 and weighing 192 pounds. It must be when he’s soaking wet. Quentin, on the other hand, is listed at 6-2 and 235 pounds. And he had a running start.
Rather than doing the “throw the glove and get out of the way” move, Greinke lowered his shoulder and absorbed the impact of the collision. He left the fracas accompanied by a trainer.
Moments after the Dodgers sealed the 3-2 victory, Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully made the announcement. Greinke had broken his collarbone.
There is no telling how long he’ll be out but one thing is pretty certain. He will not be on the mound when the Dodgers and Rockies play each other at the end of this month.
There is also a chance, albeit a slim one, that Quentin will not be in uniform when the Rockies and Padres do battle this weekend. Quentin is facing a definite suspension for charging the mound, but most players appeal the penalty. That allows them to continue playing until the appeal is heard by league officials. That can take weeks or months.
Greinke pitched five scoreless innings in his Dodgers debut on April 5, earning the victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was clinging to a 2-1 lead when he left Thursday’s game. The Dodgers signed Greinke to a six-year, $147 million contract, so putting his shoulder in the way of a charging Quentin will go down as one of the boneheaded plays of the season.
Greinke has pitched against the Rockies in years’ past even though he spent his early years with the Kansas City Royals. He is 1-1 against Colorado in his career (in six games) with 39 strikeouts and a 4.88 earned-run average.
That doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Tell that to Troy Tulowitzki who has two hits in 13 at-bats (.154 average) against Greinke. See what Dexter Fowler thinks about his .091 (1 for 11) batting average against Greinke. Four other players on the Rockies roster are still looking for their first hits against Greinke. And that includes Todd Helton. It stands to reason that those players, as well as the entire Rockies team, will take any break they can — even if it happens to be Greinke’s collarbone.