Doing the Homework on Greinke and Quentin

The biggest baseball event of Thursday night came outside of game action. In the top of the sixth inning of the Dodgers-Padres game in San Diego, Zack Greinke hit Carlos Quentin with a fastball on the wrist on a 3-2 count. After one step towards the mound, Quentin bull-rushed Greinke. As Quentin charged, Greinke threw his shoulder into Quentin’s body, and the result was a broken collarbone for the Dodgers’ starter. There is no timetable for Greinke to return to the mound; he will be examined by doctor Neal El Attrache on Friday.

Although we occasionally see this kind of aggressiveness from players without any prior provocation, it usually indicates some sort of history, either between player and team. A look into the pair’s past suggests there was already tension brewing, and said tension came entirely from Quentin’s end.

Greinke faced Quentin 28 times from 2008 through 2010, when Greinke was a Royal and Quentin a member of the White Sox. Twice, Quentin was hit by a Greinke pitch. The first came July 18th, 2008 as part of a six-run second inning. Greinke hit Quentin, the third batter of the game, with a pitch to the load the bases. Quentin would later homer off Greinke, but no tension of any kind was reported in any of the game recaps I could find.

Things were not so clean on April 8th, 2009, when Greinke hit Quentin with a 1-1 fastball with the bases empty. Greinke had already thrown a pitch high-and-tight in the pair’s first face-off of the day, a swinging strikeout for Quentin. Greinke hit Quentin between the shoulder blades with his third pitch of the next at-bat, and Quentin took a step towards the mound — much like he did Thursday night — but was stopped by home plate umpire Bill Hohn before anything could escalate, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal

Quentin almost certainly had the feeling Greinke was gunning for him. If Quentin just saw the latter half of Greinke’s post-game quotes, it could have stoked the fire. “It happens. You hit guys sometimes,” Greinke said. Quentin may have regarded a few near misses against his former White Sox teammates during Greinke’s time in Kansas City as malicious

But it’s hard to imagine Greinke was actually throwing at Quentin. If the partial quote above sounds cold, it’s just the way he talks about these things. Here’s the first half: “The first at-bat kind of scared me because you never want to do that to anyone.” And although Greinke picked up strike one on an inside pitch, he would need awfully poor control to miss this poorly on the first two pitches if he were actually aiming for the 6-foot-2, 235 pound outfielder. I was unable to find any post-game comments from Quentin.

To think Greinke was gunning for Quentin in the sixth inning Thursday night seems just as absurd. Quentin was hit by the sixth pitch of the at-bat, four of which were on or outside the outside corner of the plate. Quentin was the leadoff hitter in a one-run game. His pinch runner, Alexi Amarista, eventually scored the tying run. Neither the situation nor the pitch selection suggests intent at all.

But judging by Quentin’s post-game comments, he sensed something malicious from the Dodgers’ righty in the past. Via MLB.com’s Corey Brock:

“It’s unfortunate about the situation,” Quentin said. “It could have been avoided. You can ask Zack about that. For me, I’ve been hit by many pitches in my career. I think you guys know that. I can tell you I’ve never responded in that fashion, so you guys can do your homework on that. For me, the situation is done. That’s it.”

Quentin is vague, but it seems like he must be referencing the April 2009 game. And if so, Quentin seems extremely, extremely petty. Was there something said after one of the pitches? It’s the only way I could see Quentin having anything approaching a legitimate beef. As is — and I’ve done the homework — Quentin’s actions not only appear malicious, but completely unjustified as well.

We hoped you liked reading Doing the Homework on Greinke and Quentin by Jack Moore!

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lester bangs
Guest
lester bangs

It definitely looked like Greinke said something after Thursday’s pitch that hit Quentin, but no one knows what he said, other than the guys around the plate.

AA
Guest
AA

Yeah, he was pissed that he missed his pitch and hit the guy instead of striking him out. The only thing he said in Quentin’s direction was when the guy was charging him.

Sparkles Peterson
Guest
Sparkles Peterson

He said something after Quentin stepped forward and yelled, before he charged him.

dutchbrowncoat
Member
dutchbrowncoat
Sparkles Peterson
Guest
Sparkles Peterson

Nope, I’m incorrect. He just stepped forward, didn’t say anything.

stan
Guest
stan

You were right the first time. He said something before he stepped forward. I understand what everyone wa saying about the situation, but that pitch was way inside and it looked eerily like the inside pitches I saw from Grienke when he was gunning at Quentin a couple of years ago. I can see both sides in this debate. Grienke has never been the brightest guy, so its not out of the question that he might have been gunning for Quentin even though the situation made that a bad proposition in this particular game.

CircleChange11
Guest
CircleChange11

Look at 1:05 in that video, does Greinke’s posture look anything like someone that trying not to escalate a conflict?

Hell no, he’s as ready to go as TCQ. Greinke says something and then TCQ says something as he’s charging.

It’s clear to me that TCQ has a “WTF?” type reaction after he’s hit and is stepping toward the mound.

At this point Greinke can easily see that TCQ is not happy with being beaned, intentional or not. So, now Greinke has a choice to make … and he chooses to do something that escalates the situation.

Post-game, TCQ has to be the calmest ejected player in history.

IMHO, there’s a lot of “Greinke ball-washing” going on in this thread. We all like ZG, and he’s a great pitcher, but he also has some very “punk-ass” aspects to his personality. He’s very competitive, somewhat abrasive (by reports, obviously I don;t know the guy) … so for people to suggest that he couldn’t have possibly done anything to cause the charging is naive.

Tvators
Guest
Tvators

He probably said stop whining and hgo to first or just simply move out of the way (see NOTgraphs for more colorful langiuage version) Greinke barely even threw the ball inside, Q leaned in and got plunked acted like a tough Guy and greinke said whatever, who cares unless it was about Q’s mom or his sisters sexual promiscuity.

Craigary
Guest
Craigary

” Grienke has never been the brightest guy,”

Is this comment a joke? Greinke has a reputation for being one of the most cerebral pitchers in baseball, for being a student of the game, for researching hitters to an incredibly detailed degree, even to the point where he studies minor leaguers in his team’s system. I’m honestly kind of stunned at this comment.

Scobes15
Guest
Scobes15

“Grienke has never been the brightest guy…”

Do you have evidence of this or are you just going off the societal narrative of clinically diagnosed mental disorders? Greinke, in actuality, is known to be incredibly bright and thoughtful, and a sponge for information.

NATS Fan
Guest
NATS Fan

I was watching that game because I have a couple of Dodgers on my fantasy team, and I am not a fan of either team. What I saw puts the blame for the entire situation mostly with Greinke. The pitch looked deliberate. Right on the wrist. A previous pitch had also gone in the same spot but Quentin had checked his swing and it was ruled a swing for a strike. Quentin took one step forward sort of halfway between first and the pitchers mound. Greinke clearly said something to Quentin while stepping off the mound roughly in his direction. The dugouts started to come out as Quentin charged. Greinke made zero attempt to get out of Quentin’s way but rather braced himself for the charge. It looked like Greinke was all up for the fight. But, then Quentin hit him so hard it knocked him back a few feet. By then, both dugouts were there. Greinke got tackled by most of the Dodger team. It looked like it was what Greinke said they got the two dugouts coming out. I honestly do not believe that this fight would have happened if Greinke had not said something after making two attempts to hit Quentin on the wrist. I personally thing Greinke should have been fined because it looked like a blatant attempt to either injure Quentin or at the very least piss him off.

KDL
Guest
KDL

Maybe it’s because Sullivan’s fun rules that don’t get enforced article is still in my head…but it seems to me Greinke was a little annoyed at the lack of effort to get out of the way of that ball. I mean if pitcher’s can get a head hunting reputation…I imagine guys like Quentin (who has been hit more than anyone recently WHILE only playing about 10 games a season) can gain a reputation for taking a cheap one. It’s a smart move, if you can get the base. But I’d still be pissed off if I were a pitcher facing a guy who regularly does this sort of thing.

Ned
Guest
Ned

It was a three ball count

Kyle S.
Guest
Kyle S.

Greinke had two strikes on him. Doesn’t make any sense to throw at a guy when you could strike him out.

stan
Guest
stan

I believe the numbers say that a 3-2 count is the second best hitters count, after a 3-1 and before 2-0. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

KDL
Guest
KDL

3 ball count? Even more reason to be annoyed that a guy who in the past has whined publicly about being hit while hovering over the plate wouldn’t just get out of the way.

…unless Quentin was worried the pitch was a strike since he’s knows he hangs over it and has taken first on HBPs that were in the zone before.

enhanced performance
Guest
enhanced performance

Grienke deserves what he got. If you don’t like getting your ass kicked by Quentin then don’t throw at a big guy who stands off the plate. I know he gets hit a lot but he isn’t Barry Bonds hanging over the plate so don’t tell me he was looking to get hit.
This concept that the batter has to just take the hbp without grumbling because the game is close is nuts. Fighting is a bit stupid but throwing 90 mile per hour balls at batters is also dangerous. Suspend both players if you want but do not decide that Grienke is right and Quentin is this evil monster because the pitcher aimed to maim and got beat up. The pitcher started the fight and I am glad he lost.

juan pierres mustache
Member

you are assuming that a large number of unverifiable things are absolute truths

Sleight of Hand Pro
Guest
Sleight of Hand Pro

welcome to the internet.

Tvators
Guest
Tvators

Guess you didnt bother watching this even once, he barely even threw near him, Q. leaned into the pitch, not even a tiny flinch of an effort to get out of the way. Not even close to reality

Keith
Guest
Keith

You’re incorrect in saying that he does not crowd the plate in a fashion that puts him in the direct line of fire of normal pitches.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/carlos-quentins-hbp-zone/