The Dodgers have moved on from Zack Greinke, and fairly nicely at that. In the three full seasons since he last called Dodger Stadium home, the Dodgers have won the National League West every time. Their last two seasons ended with the World Series.
The Dodgers fans have not moved on, or at least some of them, based on the reception Greinke got during the Dodgers’ 12-5 rout of the Arizona Diamondbacks in Monday’s season opener.
He was booed during pregame introductions, which is routine. But, after the Dodgers chased him by hitting three home runs off him in the fourth inning, he was booed off the mound.
By the home fans. In a game the home team was winning. Who among us would not have joined a new employer if it offered $50 million more than your old employer?
Greinke shrugged off the boos.
“They’ve got a lot of fans here,” he said. “It is what it is, I guess.”
He did not shrug off his performance. He gave up seven runs in 3 2/3 innings.
Of the final 11 batters to face him, four hit home runs. In 2015, his last season with the Dodgers, he gave up four home runs to his first 244 batters.
“Everything was bad,” he said. “There wasn’t much to build off.”
The off-speed pitches were not sharp, the location of all his pitches not precise. Greinke made 82 pitches — same as Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu, who threw six innings.
By the time the Dodgers dismissed Grienke, they had a 7-0 lead.
“They came out and sucker-punched us early,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “They beat us up pretty good.”
The obligatory disclaimers follow: Greinke, 35, is a five-time All-Star, including last year, and opening day counts for one of 162 games. Of course, the Dodgers set an opening day record — for any major league team, not just their own — by hitting eight home runs.
“You give up eight home runs in a game,” Lovullo said, “you’re probably not going to win.”
The Dodgers hit 235 home runs last year, a franchise record. The old record: 221, two years ago.
In his 92 starts for the Dodgers, Greinke went 51-15 with a 2.30 earned-run average. In 16 starts against the Dodgers, he is 7-6 with a 4.28 ERA.
“They hit a lot of home runs,” he said. “It’s not like I’m the only one they’re hitting home runs on.”
Joc Pederson crushes slow stuff
Joc Pederson said he wasn’t looking for a curveball in his second at-bat against Greinke, but he smashed a slow, loopy offering 420 feet over the center-field wall anyway to kindle the Dodgers’ home run barrage.
Pederson hit two of the Dodgers’ eight home runs. It was the ninth time he has had multiple home runs in a game. He began the game with a double to finish three for four with four runs batted in.
The left fielder batted leadoff, but manager Dave Roberts confirmed that Pederson is half of the Dodgers’ only strict platoon to begin the season. Roberts said Chris Taylor will play left field against left-handed starters, which means Pederson probably won’t be in the lineup Friday when left-hander Robbie Ray starts for Arizona.
Brock Stewart, welcome aboard
A few hours before they took the field at Dodger Stadium to begin the 2019 season against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Dodgers on Thursday morning announced their opening day roster — and Brock Stewart is on it.
Stewart will occupy the only vacancy that had been up for grabs over the final few days of spring training. The right-hander will begin the season serving as a long man in the Dodgers’ bullpen. He beat out Dennis Santana for the job.
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