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Greinke says he wouldn't groove pitches

7/16/2014

MINNEAPOLIS -- Zack Greinke speaks plainly, as you might have noticed by now. If you don't want his true opinion, don't ask him.

So when someone asked Greinke whether he would have been able to groove pitches to Derek Jeter in a situation such as Tuesday night's All-Star Game -- the last of Jeter's Hall of Fame-bound career -- Greinke didn't exactly condone Adam Wainwright's decision to do just that. Wainwright threw two 90-mph fastballs to Jeter and later admitted they were "pipe shots" designed to give Jeter a better chance of getting a hit.

After those initial comments to reporters, Wainwright said those were made partly in jest and maintained he did not serve up a pitch to Jeter's linking.

Jeter wound up hitting a double to right field and sparked a three-run American League rally in the first inning that helped the AL beat the NL 5-3. Greinke's teammate, Clayton Kershaw, who many think should have started over Wainwright, said he thought Wainwright did the "right thing," but he didn't say he would have grooved pitches himself.

There is a difference.

"I don't think I would throw it right down the middle to him by any means," Greinke said. "At least, ideally I wouldn't. I don't think he would want that either. He wants your best stuff. I would probably try to throw best stuff -- four strikes -- and see what happens."

Greinke, like Kershaw, pitched a perfect inning. He got Jose Bautista to ground out and struck out Nelson Cruz and Adam Jones swinging. It was only Greinke's second All-Star appearance. He also pitched a perfect, two-strikeout fourth inning in St. Louis in 2009, the year he won the Cy Young award, but he said this one came a lot more easily.

He remembered feeling in 2009 as though he didn't have enough time to get loose and his arm didn't feel good when he got in the game.

"I just remember getting real nervous, like, 'I need to get my arm going,' and it just wasn't going," he said. "I was running out of time. By the end, it was fun, but I was worried for a while."

Greinke admits the All-Star experience is a difficult one for him. He was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder in 2006 and said at his introductory news conference with the Dodgers that he takes medication to manage his condition. He was not in the NL clubhouse when the media was allowed in Tuesday, because for him it's a claustrophobic experience. Crowds aren't Greinke's thing, and neither is the frenetic pace.

"There are just so many obligations that you have to do and go meet for stuff, which is more difficult for me than other people," he said.