Furious Dodgers fight off Padres but lose Greinke

I was angry, so I can only imagine how the Dodgers felt.

The idea that Zack Greinke was trying to hit Carlos Quentin with a 3-2 pitch in the sixth inning of a one-run game was ludicrous. So was the idea that Quentin, who is notorious for not getting out of the way of anything in his hemisphere (already, at age 30, ranking seventh among active players in career HBPs), should have taken offense at the run-of-the-mill shoulder-high pitch from Greinke.

When Quentin paused and then charged the mound, the less composed side of myself felt that it was less out of anger and more out of seizing an opportunity to simply injure a rival team’s star. That’s probably wrong, but at best, it takes a pretty huge ego and an even larger blind spot to think what Greinke did was intentional, even if they had a spat a blue moon ago.

The consequences were serious, as Greinke didn’t run away from Quentin but lowered his left shoulder to take the initial hit from the Padre as the wrestling match began and the benches cleared. That Matt Kemp (who was buzzed near the head early in the game) and Jerry Hairston Jr. were ejected along with Quentin was one thing, but the possibility that Greinke, who left the game with trainer Sue Falsone, might be hurt was quite another.

And immediately after the game came the news. Greinke had suffered a fractured left collarbone.

The official statement from the Dodgers: “Zack Greinke sustained a left fractured clavicle.  He was immobilized with a sling and will return to Los Angeles to be evaluated by Dr. Neal ElAttrache tomorrow.”

“A 2-1 game and we’re trying to hit him 3-2? It’s just stupid,” Dodger manager Don Mattingly said after the game. “He should not play a game until Greinke can pitch. If he plays before Greinke, something is wrong.”

Mattingly’s dreaming, of course, and he knows it. “Their guy will probably be playing in three days,” he added. The Dodgers will have to move on despite the injustice.

Back to the game. On their heels, the Dodgers surrendered the tying run one batter later when Quentin’s pinch-runner, Alexi Amarista, scored on a Yonder Alonso single after going to second base on a Chris Capuano wild pitch. (The Padres’ first run also happened to score in the fourth inning on a Greinke wild pitch, halving the two-run lead Adrian Gonzalez’s first homer of the year gave the Dodgers.)

With Dodger fans’ teeth bared, Los Angeles escaped a two-out, two-on jams in that inning and the next, before Juan Uribe came up as a pinch-hitter in the top of the eighth. Rarely has a player held in such disfavor by the multitudes done himself such a service. Uribe tomahawked a Luke Gregerson pitch over the left-field wall for his second home run of the series, giving the Dodgers a 3-2 lead (and, incidentally, knocking Clayton Kershaw out of the top ranks of Dodger home run hitters after nearly nine games).

Uribe, said Vin Scully, was so emotional returning to the Dodger dugout after he blast that it appeared he was close to tears.

And so it went to the bottom of the ninth. With Brandon League having thrown 34 pitches the previous night, Kenley Jansen was given the save assignment. Cody Ransom struck out, Chris Denorfia popped out and Everth Cabrera flied out, giving the Dodgers the victory.

The Dodgers and Padres next meet Monday. April 15. Jackie Robinson Night. On an evening that is meant to honor baseball’s greatest achievement, it could be one that instead pays homage to Robinson’s competitive spirit.

  • Dave Alden

    Broken collar bone? Oh my. A long suspension for Quentin might salve a little of the pain, but not much.

    • Anonymous

      A long suspension for Quentin might save his life. Even if he survives Monday and Tuesday (Greinke’s scheduled start, that I guess Ted Lilly will start), but Kershaw pitches Wednesday, and has a 96 MPG fastball and pinpoint precision right now.

      • Anonymous

        Retaliation makes things worse. Do you want to see Kershaw suspended or injured?

        • Anonymous

          I am not suggesting that he should do it, but if Quentin is in the line-up and has not been plunked or suspended, I thnk tat he will be. Kershaw nailed Gerardo Parra in 2011 for a much lesser offense, and the nature of baseball and basebal players suggest that retaliation is coming at Quentin. It makes the league discipline system even more important–you cannot really give a fair punishment (even if Quentin were suspended the enitre time Grienke is out, he’s still just a .250 hitter on a last place team, not an ace pitcher for a contender), but if the league does not take this seriously, ballplayers will take matters into their own hands.

  • Anonymous

    Vinny just said broken collarbone. Maybe I misunderstood.

  • Anonymous

    Jon: I share your sentiments. I was driving home to the Central Coast from the S.F. Bay Area tonight and I picked up the Padre broadcast on 1090-AM. Dodger radio station 590 is inaudible. What a couple of homers the Padre announcers are. Ted something, one of them, favors short, clipped semi-sentences and is particularly annoying to listen to. He also fails to set the action. When Quentin got hit by the pitch, he said, “Ouch!” and then described what was transpiring. Sure glad I don’t have to listen to him as a steady diet….Is there any indication on whether Grienke is injured and, if so, how seriously? That could be awful.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Casey-Barker/100003908968118 Casey Barker

      Ted Leitner… he’s on my list.

  • Anonymous

    If it’s a broken collarbone, Grienke will be out for months, I expect. Disastrous.

  • Anonymous

    Well its his left (non pitching side) collarbone…if that means anything.

  • Anonymous

    I still don’t understand how a player can just tackle a pitcher like that. Really disturbing.

  • Anonymous

    “Zero understanding of the game”…I agree Donnie. Quentin is a chump and a coward. He’s an “idiot”.

  • Anonymous

    I’m pissed. Rarely do I feel like I can judge a man by his actions on the field but Quentin is a scumbag (the harshest word I believe I can use here). I’ll also call him a narcissist. To think you have a right to injure another man because you think that anyone cares enough to hit you even with the game that tight… Clearly he believes his importance is far greater than reality would suggest. Reality also suggests he’s not interested in avoiding being hit by pitches. Doesn’t stop him from attacking a player with ten times his worth and accomplishment when it happens. Man I hope that guy gets what’s coming to him and is out of baseball soon.

  • Adam Luther

    I keep watching that replay and cringe every time, surprised that Grienke even remained upright taking the full blow and all.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    If I’m not mistaken, the starting pitcher for the Dodgers on Monday against the Padres is … Chad Billingsley.

  • Anonymous

    “I was angry, so I can only imagine how the Dodgers felt.”

    Ditto Jon. Ditto.

  • Anonymous

    Man, Donnie was pissed – but he was spot on – Quentin is an idiot with zero knowledge of the game.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

    I almost went to this game but stayed in LA to attend a concert instead. While at the concert a Padre fan friend of mine just texted me, “Fight!”. So I checked the ESPN app and saw Quentin was ejected for charging the mound. It wasn’t until driving home that I turned on AM570 and heard all the dirty details, and boy did that really ruin my night. From such a pleasant experience at the concert to being downright angry. I have nothing good to say about that guy, so to not break any (or all) of the rules I will refrain.

  • Anonymous

    Obviously we are concerned with pitching tonight, but it will be nice when the real Matt Kemp returns from wherever he has gone. His fire is there – just not his bat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bryanfriedman Bryan Friedman

    Jon, your writing never disappoints, and it’s moments like these I feel grateful to be able to come here and continue the therapy that is often required after a game like that one. I guess Dodger Thoughts helps *me* “deal psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers and baseball” too.

  • Anonymous

    I did not really think about it until I read Jon’s post, but Quinten is ridiculous. He got hit Tuesday, and it did not mean much to me (he’s a career .250 hitter playing for a lst place team). But I remembered someone got hit Tuesday and I had first thought that he fouled it off, because he not only made no effort to get out of the way, he was stepping in to swing at the pitch. At the time, I thought the umpire should not award him first base as he made no attempt to avoid it (See Rule 6.08(b)). That, of course, is uncommon for most players, and that rule is rarely called, so I was not surprised. But you can see the video of the pitch on-line on Quinten’s page on MLB.com. And he makes no effort.

    Then, tonight, he made no effort to avoid the ball either. The idea that Greinke was trying to hit him is crazier than Jon suggests–there is no reason that he should have been hit. Watch the replay–Quinten does not turn until the ball hits his shoulder. He also does that thing that a number of players do which should not be legal where he rotates his body, but does not actually move out of the way of the pitch, or even change the target. It’s a move that is basically designed to get the HBP, explaining why Quinten leads baseball in the category. Craig Biggio used to do this all the time–but Biggio never chargedthe mound, he just took his base.

  • http://www.facebook.com/josiah.schwartz Josiah Schwartz

    any early thoughts on how long greinke will be out?

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Padre post game interview had Quentin on it and he said there was bad blood between them and that the whole thing could have been avoided. He also stated that he has been hit many times and never charged the mound and when asked again he said he was held back by an ump before. He had no remorse. and acted like it was all Greinke’s fault. Carlos also stated that Greinke’s words which were not repeated set him off.

    Me myself blame AJ…He was asleep at the wheel. He should have been between them as soon as Quetin took his 1st step towards the mound then hesitated.

    • http://www.facebook.com/bryanfriedman Bryan Friedman

      How can you play AJ on that? Who could have ever imagined CQ would charge the mound in that situation? It’s unfathomable, except for the fact that it actually happened…

      • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

        Every catcher is taught once a batter is hit to immediately set between the batter and his pitcher to protect him from the wild once in a lifetime run at the mound

  • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

    I made the mistake of tweeting that I think Quentin is a punk. My giant fan acquaintance immediately tweeted me a bunch of insane stuff about how it’s Greinke’s fault and that Matt Kemp is as much a punk as Quentin. Man I should really just avoid those conversations. By those conversations I mean ones with giant fans.

    • Anonymous

      They’re more properly called “Gnatfans.”

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    I’m no Vin Scully, but looking at home plate POV footage, it looks like Greinke is cursing out of frustration that he hit Quentin. He says one word.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

      Whatever he said, it was after Quentin was already walking at him. If Qentin just started towards first and then Greinke said something, it still wouldn’t justify rushing the mound, but would shift some blame.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bryanfriedman Bryan Friedman

    Yep, Quentin sounds like a real stand-up guy (sarcasm)…

    “It’s unfortunate about the situation,” Quentin said. “It could have been avoided. You can ask Zack about that. For me, I’ve been hit by many pitches in my career. I think you guys know that. I can tell you I’ve never responded in that fashion, so you guys can do your homework on that. For me, the situation is done. That’s it.”

    “We’ll see what happens,” Quentin said. “Obviously they’re not happy losing one of their starting pitchers. That’s unfortunate for their organization. Like I said, this didn’t start off as just two teams out on this field. There was a history there. I will just continue to go play how I’ve always played. If there’s retaliation, there is. For me, the situation is done now for me.”

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130412&content_id=44548656&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

    • Anonymous

      It’s like the abusive husband who claims that his wife made him do it or she ran her face into his fist. The guy’s an absolute nobody who throws his body at pitches because he’s not very good at hitting them with the bat. He better pray for a suspension.

    • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

      They left out the part where he said he has been hit numerous times and never charged the mound “check my history” or to later say after he was called out on it he did it in AAA but that doesn’t count. To later again say after being caught again the ump held me back in 2009, that doesn’t count

    • Anonymous

      That attitude stinks

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    Here’s video. Go to :15. Greinke says something brief then Quentin charges. Incendiary? scores.espn.go.com/mlb/recap?game…

    • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

      Like I said, Quentin is already walking towards him. Maybe the words set him off, but if he walked to first I’m guessing Greinke says nothing.

    • http://www.facebook.com/bryanfriedman Bryan Friedman
    • Anonymous

      Might guess that Greinke uttered something in sheer disbelief at Quentin’s reaction.

  • Anonymous
  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    At least some Padre fans have sense at the gaslamp ball: http://www.gaslampball.com/

  • Anonymous

    Over the past two seasons, Quentin has been hit every 20 PA. For his career, Ron Hunt was hit every 25 PA. When he got tagged 50 times in 1971 it was for every 13 PA.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    NPUT