Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke will start his first game against the Washington Nationals Wednesday since breaking his collarbone in scuffle with the San Diego Padres back on April 11.
Oddsmakers have Greinke and the Dodgers priced as -140 home favorites versus the Nationals, with the total set at seven runs. Washington counters with left-hander Ross Detwiler and is a +129 underdog.
"He feels like he's ready," L.A. manager Don Mattingly told MLB.com. "His stuff kind of tells us he's ready. He wants to pitch."
Greinke, a right-handed pitcher, suffered the injury on his left side and made just one minor-league tuneup start during his speedy recovery, which was estimated to take at least eight weeks. He says the fracture isn’t completely healed but doesn’t expect it to hurt his performance Wednesday. The team will limit him to between 80 and 100 pitches.
"I'm sure there's a lot of risk every day," Greinke told the media. "If it makes sense, you do it. If I didn't feel ready, I wouldn't do it. If it was 50/50, you don't do it. I say it's well worth the risk we're taking. If everyone in baseball had the same feeling I have, everyone would be playing. It's nothing superhero-ish. If you felt what I feel, you'd do the same thing."
The Dodgers bullpen could be called into early action if Greinke struggles in his return. Los Angeles’ relievers own a collective 4.47 ERA – fourth worst in the majors – and a 5-10 record with five blown saves.
Greinke is 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA over two starts for the Dodgers. He’s 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in 15 career innings versus Washington.