GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke left his start against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday after throwing just four pitches because of a mild right calf strain.
”I think it’s minor, but we’ll see,” Greinke said. ”I don’t know exactly what it was, but it felt kind of like a cramp.”
Grienke was making his first spring start after saying he had ”zero interest” making the trip for the Dodgers’ two regular-season games in Sydney, Australia, March 22-23 against Arizona.
But now Geinke says he’d like to start a game Sydney Cricket Ground.
”If we’re going to be there, which obviously we are, then, yes, I’d like to pitch over there,” he said. ”I’m looking forward to flying over there.
”No one wants me to say it this way, but in my vote, if we could go over there, my vote was not to,” he said. ”But more people wanted to go than not. So, now that we are going, I want to be there. I don’t want to not go and have the rest of the team go and have to play and me sit here watching. I also don’t want to go over there and watch. I want to go over there and play, since that’s what we’re doing.”
His initial comments, he said, were based on concerns that the trip would alter his spring training.
”It’s just the routine thing,” he said. ”I want to pitch good. I want to win games. When you’re forced to do something you’re not used to doing, it’s harder to be able to do it at the best of your abilities. It’s still possible, but it makes it harder.
”I’ve never been real big on what people’s perceptions are of me,” Grienke added. ”The only goal is to try to win as many games as possible.”
Greinke left the mound after throwing two pitches to the Diamondbacks second hitter, Cliff Pennington. He retired Tony Campana on two pitches. Following the second pitch to Pennington, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly and Stan Conte, chief of the club’s medical staff, rushed to the mound. Greinke threw a couple of warmup pitches and then headed for the clubhouse.
”I just was walking around the mound a little bit,” Greinke said. ”I didn’t think I was going to need to come out this time, but after talking to them, that’s what they decided. I’d like to see how it feels later.”