Ever wonder what Shirtless Ed Whitson referred to? Now you know. Thanks to Tom Garfinkel for sending that tonight.
I had several things to talk about concerning this game, but they don’t really matter. All anyone is going to remember is the fight between Zack Greinke and Carlos Quentin.
Since their history seemed to be what provoked it tonight, here’s the history between them. Going into tonight, Quentin had faced Greinke 28 times. He was 6-24, 3 HR, 4 RBI, 2 walks, 4 K, and 2 HBP. All between 2008-2010, all while with the White Sox when Greinke pitched for KC.
The two hit by pitch events, in some context.
- First time in 2008 (7/18/08). At the point Q was 1-5 against Greinke, the one being a HR the first time he faced him. Q got hit with runners on the corners and one out, first pitch. Next AB Quentin hit a HR (same game).
- Second time was the following year (4/8/09), on a 1-1 pitch with the bases empty. Next AB Quentin walked (same game). It should be mentioned that Grienke went high and tight on Q the previous at bat (Q struck out swinging 3 innings earlier).
At this point, Quentin had faced Zack 13 times, hit 2 HR, been hit twice, been buzzed at least once. So you start to see why he might have developed an issue with Greinke – he’s seen 35 pitches from the guy and at least 3 have been around his head.
Carlos last faced Zack on 22 August 2010 when he singled to LC. That’s a long time to hold a grudge. Which brings us to tonight.
The fisticuffs started during their third AB. Quentin had rolled out to third on an 0-1 pitch in the first, and struck out on a 2-2 pitch leading off the third. To the best of my memory (and remember, I was at the game) Greinke didn’t buzz Q at all during the first two ABs. I don’t even remember a pitch being way in. Then the AB of high interest.
Based on the game situation, it really makes no sense why Zack would hit the leadoff hitter intentionally, in the sixth inning of a one-run game. With the 4-5-6 hitters due, even if they weren’t Murderers Row. Why put the tying run on base with no one out?
After I got home I had a chance to look at some of the replays. Watching the replay on ESPN, which thankfully was a ‘from behind home plate’ angle, Greinke clearly said something while Carlos was walking towards the mound. What he said is hard to make out. After rewinding it about 12 times I think he said ‘Diving’, which kind of makes sense and is a stupid thing to say at the same time. If that is what he said, he may have been trying to explain how Quentin got hit. Maybe he was trying to excuse it to himself. Ok, but if you’re talking to your self WHY look at Quentin while you’re saying it? If you think the hitter’s diving in then you clearly think he’s at fault here. WHY try to justify how you hit someone to that someone by appearing to say it was their fault? No wonder Q charged. Zack said something else after Q started running at him. That was obvious, and rhymes with ‘Duck!’ Carlos also said something as he charged; I can’t tell what it was no matter how much I rewind the tape.
Couple of other things before I run out of steam:
That photo does justice to Quentin’s attack. He plowed into Greinke and knocked him like 10 feet backwards. What it does NOT show is Greinke moving towards Quentin to counter Carlos’ attack. These two men are the same height, but according to Baseball Reference Quentin outweighs the pitcher by 45 pounds. Carlos is bigger, likely stronger, and yet Greinke didn’t back down. That’s not the mark of a pussy, people – nor of a coward. Also, Greinke didn’t duck, he tried to get underneath Quentin. The problem for Zack was, Q planned to do the same thing and won the momentum argument, leading to that picture.
@ghostofrak no way! … no points for getting stuffed and then ending up on your back at the bottom of a pile.
— Megan Olivi (@MeganOlivi) April 12, 2013
I’m not saying Greinke held his own here. I agree with Megan – he got worked over. But I am saying he at least stood up to the attack, which isn’t the prevailing opinion.
There’s also a zero percent chance Greinke broke his collarbone during that collision. Look at the tape. After he gets dragged to the ground about 6 people land on him while he’s prone and exposed. That’s when he broke the bone.
After the game, apparently Matt Kemp confronted Quentin in the player’s parking lot (photo from Dennis Lin’s twitter feed):
It sucks Greinke got hurt and will miss 4-6 weeks. I think even Carlos Quentin would agree with that. Going after him in the parking lot, what does that prove? You’re pissed off? We already knew that. You couldn’t calm down after 3 hours, is that the point? Noted. Is accosting Quentin there going to fix anything? No. These two teams see each other in 4 days. Let your play do the talking, dude. Enough.
That’s it for me. Padres face Colorado this weekend. Quentin will be suspended, but I’d be surprised if he didn’t play this weekend.
Have a different opinion? That’s cool. Share it in the comments, or shoot me a line @Padres_Trail.