Zack Greinke had thrown just 11 innings on the season prior to breaking his collarbone in a brawl. (Lenny Ignelzi/AP)
Last time we saw Zack Greinke on a pitcher's mound, he was taking the brunt of a Carlos Quentin tackle attempt in an all-out on-field brawl, leading to a broken collarbone. Initially expected to be out six-to-eight weeks after surgery on Apr. 13, Greinke has instead rallied back to strength in less than a month. On Friday night, he made what will likely be his only rehab start in the Minors, taking the hill for Los Angeles' Single-A affiliate, Rancho Cucamonga, against, fittingly enough, San Diego's farm team, Lake Elsinore.
The results weren't typical Greinke: 80 pitches in 4 1/3 innings, with six hits (including a home run) and eight runs (three earned) allowed. But the Dodgers' $147-million man did strike out four without walking a batter. He also wasn't helped by three Rancho Cucamonga errors, including two by shortstop Darnell Sweeney in the bottom of the fifth inning that hastened his exit.
After his outing, Greinke told reporters that he expects to be back for the Dodgers on Wednesday to start against the Nationals at home:
Before Friday night's game against Miami, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was asked about the prospect of having his co-ace back next week:
Unsaid by Mattingly: The fact that L.A. could really, really, really use Greinke right about now
. The Dodgers are currently mired in an eight-game losing streak and have sunk to the bottom of the NL West with a 13-21 record. Since Greinke was hurt, the Dodgers have also lost starters Chad Billingsley to Tommy John surgery, Ted Lilly to a rib cage strain and fill-in Stephen Fife to shoulder bursitis.