Washington Nationals @ Los Angeles Dodgers
Scheduled Start Time: 10:10 PM ET
(Sports Network) - The wonders of medicine and healing power of the body will be on display for the Los Angeles Dodgers, as they send starter Zack Greinke back to the mound Wednesday in the finale of a three-game series versus the Washington Nationals.
Greinke is about a month ahead of schedule after breaking his left collarbone in a brawl with the San Diego Padres back on April 11 in just his second start since signing a megadeal in the offseason. Greinke pegged Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin and muttered something toward the batter before tempers flared and the two were involved in a benches-clearing scrum.
The right-handed Greinke allowed two runs in five innings that day, then was placed on the disabled list with the injury. According to the club's website, Greinke's surgically repaired left collarbone is still healing and the Dodgers are taking a chance he could sustain further injury. Greinke had a metal plate and screws inserted into his clavicle.
'I'm sure there's a lot of risk every day,' Greinke said. 'If it makes sense, you do it. If I didn't feel ready, I wouldn't do it. If it was 50/50, you don't do it. I say it's well worth the risk we're taking. If everyone in baseball had the same feeling I have, everyone would be playing. It's nothing superhero-ish. If you felt what I feel, you'd do the same thing.'
He could give his team a much-needed boost since L.A. has won three of four games since losing a season-high eight in a row. Greinke has to avoid collisions with other players, diving, and, of course, brawls. Covering first base on a ground ball doesn't happen too often, but it does occur. He will also have to bat in the ninth spot.
'Just do what you're supposed to do to avoid that stuff,' Greinke said. 'You can't always avoid it, but it's rare. It could happen a month from now, too. You want me to not pitch another month because there's less than a one percent chance something can happen? Just play.'
Greinke pitched in a rehab assignment for Class A Rancho Cucamonga and didn't do very well, allowing eight runs -- three earned -- and six hits over 4 1/3 innings. He tossed a bullpen session Sunday and is set to make his third start of the season. Greinke won his Dodgers debut April 5 versus Pittsburgh.
The Dodgers had ace Clayton Kershaw on the hill in Tuesday's 2-0 win over the Nationals and the left-hander hurled 8 2/3 scoreless innings and struck out 11 batters. Kershaw walked one batter and scattered five hits to improve to 4-2.
'They're an aggressive team, and once I got ahead I was able to throw some pitches out of the strike zone and get them to chase,' Kershaw said.
Kenley Jansen got the final out of the game for his second save.
Andre Ethier plated both Kershaw and Matt Kemp with two outs in the bottom of the third inning to provide the scoring for L.A., which is 3-5 on a nine-game homestand and will hit the road for Atlanta and Milwaukee later this week.
Meanwhile, the Nationals are aiming for a series win and took the opener, 6-2, on Monday. But in Tuesday's shutout defeat, Dan Haren was saddled with the hard-luck loss for allowing both runs and four hits in seven innings.
Haren was victimized by Ethier's hit in the third inning.
'I really wasn't trying to throw Ethier a strike. I was trying to throw the ball in the dirt and off the plate. I made a mistake and he made me pay,' Haren said.
Ryan Zimmerman had three of Washington's five hits and young star Bryce Harper did not play. Harper left Monday's game after colliding with the right-field scoreboard and suffered a cut on his chin. Harper, who needed 11 stitches to close the gash, said he felt nauseated and opted to rest.
'I got the stitches and I feel kind of crappy today,' Harper said Tuesday. 'I don't think I should go out there right now with how I'm feeling today. I'm feeling a little nauseous. That's the only thing that is holding me out of the lineup. The soreness and stuff is part of the game. You could play through that. If I wasn't feeling so nauseous, I would be in the lineup.'
The Nationals entered last night's game having won eight of 11 games and still sit one game behind Atlanta for the NL East lead. They still have San Diego and San Francisco to visit on this west coast trip (10 games).
Washington will turn to Ross Detwiler in the series finale at Dodger Stadium and he is 2-3 with a 2.53 earned run average in seven starts. Detwiler was able to halt a personal three-start slide his last time out in a 7-3 win over the Chicago Cubs on Friday, when he allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings.
The left-hander, who has given up at least two runs in four straight starts, is 1-1 with a 3.10 ERA in four career games (3 starts) against the Dodgers.
Washington and L.A. are meeting for the first time since the Dodgers won four of six matchups a season ago. The Dodgers are 11-5 in the last 16 matchups in this series.