Bad Blood: $147-Million Pitcher Greinke Fractures Collarbone After Bench-Clearing Melee
UPDATE: Greinke will reportedly miss 4-6 weeks. Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Carlos Quentin should not be able to play a game until Greinke can.
Zack Greinke, the $147-million Los Angeles Dodgers offseason acquisition, reportedly fractured his collarbone after a bench-clearing melee in the bottom of the sixth inning in Los Angeles's 3-2 win over the San Diego Padres on Thursday at San Diego.
With the Dodgers leading 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Greinke hit San Diego's Carlos Quentin on a full-count pitch.
Quentin, who has been hit over a hundred times in his career because he crowds the plate, seemed like he leaned into the pitch. He paused after he got hit. Words seemed to be exchanged, and then Quentin charged the mound. Chaos broke loose after.
It is extremely unlikely Greinke hit Quentin on purpose, especially with the Dodgers up by one run and on a full count. Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis immediately did not jump up after Quentin got hit, which is another sign that Greinke did not hit Quentin intentionally.
Nonetheless, Quentin decided to charge Greinke and rammed into Greinke's shoulder in a collision that was reminiscent of a running back colliding with a football defender. The benches cleared and Los Angeles' Matt Kemp, who had a pitch sail over his head earlier in the game, was livid after it seemed like Greinke may have hurt his left shoulder. Greinke ultimately left the game, and Chris Capuano replaced him.
Kemp, who was ejected with Quentin and Los Angeles' Jerry Hairston, had to be restrained as he seemed like he wanted to take on the whole Padres team in defense of his pitcher.
The Dodgers play the Padres 16 more times this season. The two teams play again on Monday, and there may be retribution. Of more importance, though, will be the health of Greinke, who, along with Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, make up one of baseball's most dynamic one-two punches.