The playoff hopes of the Dodgers were dealt a serious blow Thursday night when Zack Greinke broke his collarbone – and injury that will keep him out two months.  With the Dodgers winning 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning and the count at 3-2, Greinke hit Padres outfielder Carlos Quentin with a pitch.  Quentin charged the mound, and Greinke braced himself for the collision by leading with his left shoulder – resulting in the broken collarbone.

Did Greinke hit Quentin on purpose?  Most likely not.  Quentin gets hit by pitches a lot, because he crowds the plate.  It’s part of his game – it gives him better coverage of the outside of the plate, and he gets on base when he gets hit by a pitch (which happens at the rate of one every 25 times he comes to bat – an incredibly high rate).  Sure, Greinke had hit him two other times in his career, but he’s not the only pitcher who has plunked Quentin three times.

Then there’s the game situation.  It’s a one run lead late in the game.  You’re trying to protect the lead, not give the opposing team free baserunners.  And even if you are going to hit a batter, you wouldn’t take the count to 3-2.  You’d hit him with the first pitch and save the wear and tear on your arm.

None of my analysis is different than anything else you’re seeing on the internet, of course.

Rockies on a roll

While most pundits have predicted gloom and doom for the Rockies (with ESPN’s Keith Law predicting 53 wins), the Rockies have blasted 20 homers in the first eleven games of the season (15 homers in eight road games) en route to a 7-4 record.  Center fielder Dexter Fowler is leading the team with six homers.  Another player to watch is catcher Wilin Rosario, who blasted 28 homers in his rookie season last year, but was completely overlooked amidst all the Trout/Harper media hype.  Rosario’s power is real – the big question is whether he can improve enough defensively to stick behind the plate.

Astros improving?

Kevin Goldstein @ Saber Seminar 2011

The brains behind an Astros rebuild?

After getting off to a horrible whiff-laden start, some of the Astros hitters actually seem to be improving, to the point where a couple of them actually look good.  Is it possible that the Astros won’t be as bad as we originally though?

Nah, they,ll still be horrible – the larger sample size of a full season will bear that out.

However, help is on the way.  Kevin Goldstein, formerly of Baseball Prospectus, is now the director of professional scouting – so expect some astute trades.  Just look for the fedora.

Kobe tears ACL

Lakers star Kobe Bryan became the second LA star to suffer a significant injury in as many days when he tore his ACL Friday night.  He’ll be out 6-9 months, which means he might be ready for the NBA Finals (sorry, but the NBA playoffs ARE really long).  The Lakers currently hold a one game lead for the final playoff spot with two games left in the season.  Regardless of whether they make the playoffs this years, they have almost no chance of making the playoffs in 2014 without Bryant.

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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