I’m sure that the one thing the Dodgers feared most when they singed Zack Greinke to the largest ever contract for a RHP (at the time) was injury. I’m also sure that this was not the way they thought their biggest worry would come true. LA’s new $147M man suffered a broken collarbone after he lowered his shoulder on an attacking Carlos Quentin. It is unknown how long he will be out or if he will need surgery but the Dodgers will definitely be without their offseason acquisition for the foreseeable future.
It was fun to watch a heated brawl between division rivals but in this case I don’t think a charging of the mound was warranted. Given the game situation (3-2 count in a 1-run game with a runner on first), I find it very hard to believe that Greinke intentionally hit Quentin. Quentin cited a history between the two, which is a fair point considering that Greinke hit Quentin in 2008 and 2009. Baseball players never forget. But a lot of people have hit Quentin before – only 6 active players have been hit by a pitch more than Quentin. He also has a reputation for leaning in and crowding the plate. In this particular instance, he did not lean in but Greinke hitting Quentin last night didn’t seem malicious or intentional. The pitch just got away from him.
Quentin didn’t see it that way and took matters into his own hands. Greinke is much smaller than Quentin so getting low to the ground and using his shoulder like a linebacker seemed like a good idea – that is of course until he got hit and broke his collarbone. Quentin will be suspended but he will definitely return to the field before Greinke, which really irks Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly.
The scuffle continued after the game in the hallways by the locker rooms, a la Prince Fielder or Melo and KG. Kemp had some choice words for Quentin and needed to be restrained before getting on the team bus. The best part of all of this is that the teams play each other again on Monday in LA, which led to this great tweet from the Dodgers.
A little bad blood between division rivals certainly won’t disappoint any baseball fans. It’s a long season but Greinke’s absence won’t help a Dodgers team that desperately wants to win right now. Lucky for them, Kershaw wasn’t involved in the scuffle. LA’s true ace has not allowed a run yet this season in 16 IP. This weekend should give both the Padres and Dodgers enough time to calm down but I will definitely be tuning in on Monday (which is also Jackie Robinson Day) to see if there are any more dust ups.