Greinke Proves Quentin Is Not An Idiot
Looks like Donnie Baseball and the rest of the Dodgers were wrong about Carlos Quentin; he’s not an “idiot,” after all. That’s what Mattingly called Quentin after the April brawl that led to Zach Greinke’s broken collarbone. See, despite Quentin’s claims that Greinke threw at the Padres OF intentionally and that there was a history between the two, Mattingly couldn’t accept that argument. The Dodger manager pointed out the “game situation,” and implied there was no way Greinke would purposely put a runner on base to satisfy a personal grudge.
“I don’t want to hear about personal history or anything,” Mattingly said. “We’re trying to win a game. You don’t hit a guy there. Just stupid. It’s ridiculous.”
Dodgers OF Matt Kemp took it further:
“People with good baseball IQs know if you have a one-run lead and it’s a 3-2 count, Greinke is not going to hit you on purpose,” Kemp said.
Clearly we know from those remarks that the Dodgers are a standup club. They play the game the right way. And then Tuesday happened.
In a game with the Diamondbacks, Arizona pitcher Ian Kennedy hit Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig with a pitch. The ball contacted Puig’s shoulder then deflected up and off his nose.
Alright, Kennedy is trying to pitch in and the ball gets away. Puig has been raking and I could see Arizona pitching carefully to him. Puig was alright and stayed in the game; no harm, no foul so to speak.
The next inning, Greinke hits Miguel Montero in the back. That’s fair, right? The baseball gods are pleased and Greinke simply extracted proper retribution, correct?
Mattingly sure seemed to think so.
“If our guy gets hit and he doesn’t protect him, then he loses respect in the clubhouse and that’s not a good thing,” the manager said.
The important thing to take out of this is that Greinke did INTENTIONALLY hit Montero with a pitch. And not only did he throw at Montero with a purpose, he did so four times in that at bat. Somehow, Greinke failed to connect three times before finally plunking the 210-pound catcher. I’m not a svelte guy myself and I have a hard time believing a 5-11, 210-pound target would be that hard to hit for Greinke. Whatever else you might think, Greinke undoubtedly wanted to pelt Montero with a pitch.
In addition, the game situation was all wrong; at least it should have been given Mattingly’s understanding of it. Let’s compare the respective game situations when Greinke hit Montero with when Quentin got nailed by a pitch from the Dodgers RHP.
Quentin: Full count, leading off the bottom-half of the sixth inning with the Dodgers leading 2 – 1.
Montero: 2 – 1 count, leading off the 7th inning of a tie game.
In both cases, the at bat had gone fairly deep into the count and the game was close enough that common sense would seem to dictate the pitcher would want to limit baserunners. Yet we have one example (Montero) where Mattingly admitted his guy (Greinke) intentionally hit a batter. In a very similar situation however (Quentin), the Dodgers skipper would have you believe his pitcher wouldn’t hit a guy because they are “trying to win a game.” Forgive me if I don’t believe that anymore.
I do realize that Greinke immediately sought payback from Montero and the Diamondbacks the first chance he got after the Puig incident whereas with Quentin there was nothing that immediately preceded it. But I do recall earlier in that game when Jason Marquis lost a pitch that went over the head of either Matt Kemp or Andre Ethier (sorry, memory is a bit fuzzy on the specifics). It’s conceivable that combined with a dislike of Quentin motivated Greinke to throw at Quentin when he did.
If nothing else this lends more credence to Quentin’s original assertion that Greinke was purposely throwing at him. Despite the protestations at the time from the Dodgers about “game situations,” we now know there are exceptions to those rules. It looks more and more like maybe Quentin may have been right after all.