D-backs mulling Greinke's prep for WC Game

September 26th, 2017

PHOENIX -- Zack Greinke will all but surely start the National League Wild Card Game on Oct. 4. The question is whether the right-hander will do it on his normal four days' rest or if he will get six instead.

If the D-backs stay in rotation from now until the end of the regular season, Greinke would start Wednesday's game against the Giants, which would give him six days off before the Wild Card Game.

D-backs manager Torey Lovullo is considering pushing Greinke's next start to Friday against the Royals in Kansas City, which would give him an extra day this time through the rotation, but would mean he's on regular rest for the Wild Card Game.

"I think that's the obvious choice right now," Lovullo said of Greinke starting the Wild Card Game. "We are trying to do our absolute best to win Wednesday's [Wild Card] Game. We want to make sure Zack is in the right place, so we're going to get a lot of input from him."

Even though they've clinched home-field advantage in the Wild Card Game, Lovullo does not want his team to take its foot off the gas over the final week of the season, fearing that any letdown would make it difficult for them to crank it back up.

Lovullo gave most of his regular players the night off Monday, but don't expect that to be a regular occurrence.

"This is going to be the one unique day out of the next five [games] because it is my thought to continue to play the type of baseball that we have all year long," Lovullo said. "Not take anything for granted, not take days off or ho-hum our way through the next several games because no team is good enough to just turn that switch on and be ready for such an important game on Wednesday."

Catcher Jeff Mathis, who is recovering from a fractured right hand, will likely be behind the plate for the Wild Card Game. Until he was injured in late August, Mathis caught all of Greinke's starts.

"I'm leaning that direction, to be as honest as possible," Lovullo said. "In my experience, playoff baseball is just a little bit different. Everything is magnified. Ninety feet matters, one pitch matters. That's not to say anything about any of the catchers' defensive liabilities, I just know that relationship with Zack and Jeff is very strong."