SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right-hander Zack Greinke didn't start as if his outing on Sunday would be one he'd like. "The first inning, it wasn't really that bad an inning, but I didn't have many pitches going," Greinke said. "But the second inning, I probably tried to do too much too early instead of just letting the game plan come together. "But you can't argue too much with the results."
Greinke was right. His performance, his fourth start in the Cactus League season, wasn't one that anybody could have found a good reason to judge harshly. For at the end of his day's work, Greinke had put together a start that he'd be content to carbon copy and take it into the regular season. As he saw it, the outing had taken him another step closer to where he wants to be once the season does begin. "I've felt better every outing," said Greinke, long considered a top pitching prospect. "Coming into this outing, I felt like everything was coming together about as planned. The results really haven't gotten there yet, but I feel if I continue to pitch the way I have -- or just a little bit better -- everything will work itself out in the end. "I mean, everything has come together to where I feel comfortable going out there. I should be able to get outs." He'd get no quarrel on that from manager Trey Hillman, who saw plenty in Greinke's outing on this cold, brisk afternoon that he liked. "He pitched well," Hillman said. "It's one of the things we've tried to get him to do: He changed speeds real effectively -- a lot like [Brett] Tomko did the other day." But Greinke's results were a lot better than Tomko's, although Greinke was also facing a Giants lineup that had most of its better players back in Scottsdale, Ariz., playing in a split-squad game.
Justice B. Hill is a senior writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.