Zack Greinke in comfort zone on pitcher’s mound for Dodgers

first_imgGreinke shuns questions about those issues, which seem to be a non-issue anyway. Sometimes, he has no filter, but on Thursday, he wasn’t insightful. Asked how his previous playoff experience helps him now, Greinke said: “A little bit.”Asked about his playoff pregame routine, Greinke said: “Wake up, get some breakfast, go to the bathroom, come to the field.”And he might take a nap.Sigh. Mattingly said Greinke “is involved in a lot of the stuff we do. He seems really comfortable. He’s not a hard guy to talk to at all.”Kershaw and Greinke talk. Kershaw has helped Greinke, and Greinke has helped him. The Dodgers have benefited from the powerful 1-2 punch all season, and it’s especially daunting in the postseason, especially in a seven-game series. The Dodgers throw essentially two aces. “He’s been good for us, but I think we’ve been good for him from the standpoint of (having) Kersh, a guy with the same qualities as Zack, side by side,” Mattingly said. “As long as Zack is healthy. I think they’re both good for each other.”Greinke was 15-4 with a 2.63 ERA this season and until his final outing against Colorado, hadn’t lost for two months. He was a dazzling 9-2 with a 1.57 ERA from July 8 through the regular-season finale.Who would’ve thought Greinke would’ve been such an L.A. Guy? “I think it’s been a good place for Zack,” Mattingly said. “I think Zack came with a little reputation like he was going to be nervous in a big city. I don’t think that’s been an issue from the time we talked to him in the winter and had a meeting with (general manager) Ned (Colletti) and (president) Stan Kasten in Kasten’s office.“I got a feeling there was nothing about L.A. that bothered him. It was more him in his mind. He did the research. He wanted to go to the place that was going to give him the best chance to win and for a long time. He kept looking at what we were doing and was like, `OK, these guys want to win.’” The Dodgers are winning with Greinke and vice versa. ATLANTA >> Zack Greinke didn’t look the part of a comfortable guy as he sported a Dodgers T-shirt with “Magic” on it while in the interview hot seat at Turner Field.His answers were brief and serious. He didn’t channel his inner Magic Johnson, part owner of the Dodgers, for smiles and laughs. Greinke, however, is clearly comfortable on the mound and in Los Angeles, and that’s what has mattered to the Dodgers. Greinke will start Game 2 tonight against the Braves in the NLDS, but he could easily be any team’s Game 1 starter.And that should be a tough task for the Braves since Greinke follows Clayton Kershaw. When Greinke signed a six-year $147 million deal in the offseason, many wondered if he would be a good fit in L.A. Greinke has dealt with anxiety issues in his career, but the only problem he’s seemingly had this year was when he lowered his shoulder into San Diego’s Carlos Quentin, who charged the mound.Greinke was pummeled and sustained a fractured collarbone and was out for a month. Since he’s returned, he’s been superb, especially in the second half. “The pitching coach (Rick Honeycutt) has helped me a lot,” Greinke said. “I mean, there’s been hardly any mistakes. There’s been no mistakes on the field, and that makes it easier. Kind of helped the confidence.“And then once you start doing good, it’s easier to stay on the roll and execute a lot of pitches. But that was because of a mechanical change, I think. Maybe I’d have been pitching as good without it, but I think it helped. He’s sure helped the Dodgers. “Whatever went on with the past with Zack, his stuff, it seems nonexistent,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Certain situations he doesn’t like, and he stays away from them. I feel like he’s very comfortable here, but he’d have to answer that.” center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img