When the Los Angeles Dodgers signed Zack Greinke to a six-year, $147 million contract in December 2012 they not only gained a premier right-hander to pair with Clayton Kershaw, but also one of baseball’s most honest personalities to their clubhouse.
Greinke’s straight-forward mentality has landed him in some hot water, such as when he openly said money was his top priority at the time of signing with the Dodgers, and for his being against traveling to Australia for the start of the 2014 season.
The Dodgers were of course on the wrong end of Greinke’s free-agency process the second time around as the Arizona Diamondbacks outbid Los Angeles and the San Francisco Giants with a six-year, $206.5 million contract for the right-hander.
Greinke’s brutal honesty also led to a humorous exchange between he and A.J. Ellis when the right-hander once told the catcher he’d trade him in order to improve the team.
It appears Joc Pederson was also the subject of Greinke’s honesty last season, as he explained in an interview with Alanna Rizzo of Time Warner Cable SportsNet LA:
“He’s very confident in his stuff, and said I was an easy out last year as a friendly thing. So, I’m excited to face him.”
Like Pederson, Justin Turner and Scott Van Slyke also said they were looking forward to facing their former teammate. Turner hit an RBI double in the first inning and singled in the second.
Greinke then got the better of him in the fifth and seventh, on a fly out and strikeout, respectively. Van Slyke doubled off the right field fence in the second inning, then popped out in the fourth and sixth.
Pederson went 0-for-2 with a pair of pop-outs in his first two at-bats against Greinke, seeing a total of three pitches. Pederson then pulled a line-drive double over Yasmany Tomas’ head in the sixth inning.
Pederson hit two of the Dodgers’ four home runs on Tuesday night to help Los Angeles end their three-game losing streak. While perhaps a bit jarring, Greinke’s assessment last season carried some weight as Pederson slumped in the weeks leading into the All-Star break and throughout the second half.
Although the young center has endured some slumps this season, he appears to have made strides toward becoming a better overall hitter.