Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke broke his left collarbone in a bench-clearing brawl during last night’s 3-2 win over the San Diego Padres.
Greinke, a right-hander, hit Carlos Quentin with a pitch in the bottom of the sixth inning at Petco Park in San Diego. Quentin started walking toward the mound and Greinke appeared to say something to him, prompting the outfielder to charge the pitcher.
The two collided shoulder-to-shoulder before Quentin tackled Greinke. Both then ended at the bottom of a pile of players as teams ran onto the field.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told reporters he didn’t know how long Greinke would be sidelined and that the pitcher would be examined by team doctors today in Los Angeles.
“He should not play a game until Greinke can pitch,” Mattingly said about Quentin. “If he plays before Greinke pitches, something is wrong. Their guy charges the mound being an idiot and our guy is going to be out for however long and their guy is probably going to be playing in three days. It’s a joke.”
Matt Kemp of the Dodgers, one of four players ejected after the fight, confronted Quentin as the teams were leaving the stadium, the Associated Press reported. Padres pitcher Clayton Richard stepped between the two as police and security arrived, AP said.
Greinke, who signed a six-year, $147 million contract with the Dodgers in December, denied he was trying to hit Quentin. He said the game situation, a full count on the leadoff hitter in an inning with the Dodgers leading 2-1, didn’t dictate such an action.
“He always seems to think that I’m hitting him on purpose, but, I mean, that’s not the case,” Greinke told reporters. “I actually thought it was just a ploy to get people to not throw inside to him. I just feel like he’s trying to intimidate people to throw away.”
Greinke is 1-0 this season with a 1.59 earned run average.
It was the third time in his career that Quentin has been hit by Greinke, the most recent in 2009, according to ESPN. Quentin has led the major leagues in being hit by pitches the past two seasons, with 116 in his eight-year career.
“It’s an unfortunate situation,” Quentin told reporters. “Myself and Greinke have a history. It dates back a few years. It could have been avoided. You can ask Zack about that. For me, I’ve been hit by many pitches in my career. I can tell you I’ve never responded in that fashion, so you guys can do your homework on that.”