Dodgers @ Padres June 22, 2013: Oh Good, Carlos Quentin

June 22, 2013 at 5:05 pm | Posted in Game Threads | Leave a comment

petco_park_opener2013Hey, so… what is reasonable to expect from Zack Greinke tonight? No, I’m not talking about the over-hyped showdown with Carlos Quentin, who returns to the San Diego lineup.

Greinke has been pretty inconsistent since his return from the disabled list, and I’ve more or less given him a free pass on that for the obvious reason, that being that his season was so rudely interrupted midway through his second start by a broken collarbone that he probably came back too quickly from. So when he managed only 13.1 innings in his first three starts back while striking out just seven, it didn’t concern me all that much; after all, considering how he missed most of spring training with a sore right elbow, it’s been far from a usual year for him.

Dodgers
Padres
LF
Schumaker
2B
Forsythe
RF
Puig
RF
Venable
1B
Gonzalez
3B
Headley
SS
Ramirez
LF
Quentin
CF
Ethier
1B
Kotsay
2B
M.Ellis
C
Grandal
3B
Uribe
CF
Amarista
C
A.Ellis
SS
Ciriaco
P
Greinke
P
Volquez

Greinke was upfront in saying that he expected to need about five starts to get back to normal, and in start number five, he struck out seven Braves in seven shutout innings. All good, right? Well, sort of. His next time out was when he played a very central role in the brawl with Arizona, and last week he was pretty lousy in Pittsburgh, allowing 11 baserunners in five innings. He’s carrying the highest ERA & FIP scores (and lowest K/9) since way back in 2005, and his fastball velocity is down. Again, considering the absurd way in which his Dodger career has played out, I’m willing to give him a considerable amount of rope here. Still, I think we’d all be feeling a whole lot better about this if he could manage to bust out a vintage Greinke performance tonight against Quentin and the Padres.

At the very least, he’ll need to go deep into the game, because — per David Vassegh — the Dodgers appear to be leaning towards having Chris Capuano start on three days rest tomorrow afternoon. Due to the rainout and subsequent doubleheader in New York a few days ago, the team doesn’t have a starter on a regular schedule to pitch tomorrow; usual fill-in starter Matt Magill was placed on the DL today in Albuquerque for reasons as yet unknown, and the other Triple-A candidate, Matt Palmer, is far from an appealing option. (Even if you wanted Zach Lee, he also pitched on Wednesday, and got lit up by the Double-A affiliate of the Cubs.)

Capuano hasn’t started on three days rest since 2005 — technically he has in 2010 & 2011, but each of those came after short relief appearances, not starts — and considering not only his injury history but the fact that he has had all of one (admittedly good) start after coming off the disabled list yet again, it seems like a recipe for disaster. Then again, if Magill isn’t an option, I’m not sure what else we expect them to do; I certainly didn’t want to see Palmer. 

Of course, that’s a tomorrow problem, and I’m sure everything will have changed by then after Greinke throws a perfect strike down the middle that taps Quentin in the hand, leading to another brawl, so… why bother looking ahead?

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