After a terrible outing for starter Zack Greinke that resulted in a 5-3 Dodgers loss to the Royals on Monday night, the team has to now look deeper into their rotation.
It was Greinke's third appearance at Kauffman Stadium since the trade in 2009 to the Milwaukee Brewers. He faced the Royals twice in 2012 with two different teams, the Brewers and the Los Angeles Angels. With his shortest appearance on the mound this season for the Dodgers, he gave up five runs in six innings, and the fans gave Greinke a mixed reaction, which was nothing new to him.
"It was weird. I mean I pitched good last time I was here and they cheered. I pitched good the first time and they cheered," Greinke told ESPNLA.com. "Tonight they cheered when the announced my name, when I gave up runs they booed."
It would seem odd, but then again fans have a short memory at times—one that can be transformed into a lasting one when a player makes a strong statement they don't agree with.
In the early 2009 season, Greinke expressed how he like the Kansas City area and the fans, but that the organization needed to put a team together that had a fighting chance to win. It was obvious that Greinke did whatever he could at the time to spark a trade, and his wish was later granted.
Looking back on the statement now, Greinke doesn't blame the fans' luke warm reaction to him. In fact, he openly admitted that he went about the exit from Kansas City rudely, and is not mad at the fans at all.
He may or may not be in the Cy Young conversation, but he is an All-Star lock this season for the National League. The 30-year old former Cy Young winner has struggled slightly in his last several starts, as he currently sits with a 9-4 record and 4.22 ERA.
He'll continue to improve, he's a different, mature, more strategic type of pitcher that understands how to turn it around and get the victories necessary to aid the team. Both manager Don Mattingly and Greinke knew that his best was not in his arsenal, in addition to his pitches not landing in the right zones consistently, especially with his fastball.
The Dodgers did attempt a comeback behind Yasiel Puig, who flew out to center field,and later hit a line drive through the gap. The Dodgers came up two runs short on Monday night, and yet still have an opportunity to win the series against the Royals on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Dodgers are still just four games behind the San Francisco Giants in the NL West, while the Royals are just two games behind the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central.