SAN DIEGO (AP) — Zack Greinke had his left arm in a sling and a dazed look on his face as he told his side of the story. Barely two hours before, the $147 million Dodgers pitcher was injured in a wild fight with the San Diego Padres that didn’t even end when the game did.
Greinke broke his left collarbone in a bench-clearing brawl during Los Angeles’ 3-2 victory Thursday night, leaving the Dodgers so furious that Matt Kemp confronted Padres slugger Carlos Quentin nose-to-nose as the two were leaving Petco Park.
The slugger started walking toward the mound and Greinke appeared to say something. The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Quentin then charged the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner, who is 6-2 and 195 pounds. They dropped their shoulders and collided, and Quentin tackled the pitcher to the grass.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was livid, saying it shouldn’t have happened because Quentin was hit on a 3-2 pitch in a one-run game.
“That’s just stupid is what it is,” Mattingly said. “He should not play a game until Greinke can pitch. If he plays before Greinke pitches, something’s wrong. He caused the whole thing. Nothing happens if he goes to first base.”
“I’ve been hit by many pitches,” said Quentin, plunked more often than any other major league hitter since the start of 2008. “Some have been intentional, some have not been. For the amount I have been hit and my hitting style, I’m going to repeat: I have never reacted that way.”
Kemp, one of four players ejected following the fight, found Quentin in the hallway near the players’ exit as they were leaving the ballpark after the game. The 6-foot-4, 214-pound Kemp briefly went nose-to-nose with Quentin before Padres pitcher Clayton Richard, who is 6-5 and 245 pounds, stepped between them. Police and security moved in to break it up.
Both teams said the melee could have been avoided. They play another three-game series at Dodger Stadium beginning Monday night.
“I never hit him on purpose,” said Greinke, who still appeared shaken after the game. “I never thought about hitting him on purpose. He always seems to think that I’m hitting him on purpose, but that’s not the case. That’s all I can really say about it.”
Asked if there was bad blood between the teams, Greinke said: “Now there probably is. I don’t know if there was beforehand.”
He said the injury was “awful. It’s silly that something could happen like that. I’m disappointed.”