Greinke slated to start NL Wild Card Game

Greinke slated to start NL Wild Card Game

KANSAS CITY -- D-backs manager Torey Lovullo made official on Saturday what has been known for a while now -- Zack Greinke will start against the Rockies in the National League Wild Card Game on Wednesday at Chase Field.

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"There's no mystery to it," Lovullo said. "We just wanted to walk through the process and do it the right way and let him know. It's official. He'll be starting on Wednesday."

Date Time Highlights
Oct. 4 D-backs 11, Rockies 8 WATCH

Greinke, who worked four-plus innings against the Royals on Friday night in a final tuneup, is 17-7 with a 3.20 ERA in 32 starts.

2017 Postseason schedule

Given Greinke's status as the team's ace and his postseason experience, not to mention the D-backs set up the rotation so he would be pitching on regular rest in the game.

The bigger question appears to be who will catch Greinke in that game.

Veteran backstop Jeff Mathis had caught all of Greinke's starts until Mathis fractured his right hand on Aug. 21. Mathis was in the starting lineup for the first time since the injury on Saturday night, and if he is healthy enough, Lovullo could start Mathis in the NL Wild Card Game.

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It will no doubt be a tough call for Lovullo given how well catcher Chris Iannetta has played this year. Iannetta entered Saturday's game against the Royals with an .857 on-base plus slugging mark.

"I think I'll get some input from Zack," Lovullo said of his decision-making process. "I just think the overall familiarity with one another, the comfort level with one another, is going to play into it. We have two really, really qualified catchers that can catch Zack. Who that is, I still have to do a little bit of ground work. But I definitely want to prioritize defense. It's something I believe in. I think that pitching and defense wins you championships."

Sherfy hurting
Since coming up from the Minor Leagues earlier this month, right-handed reliever Jimmie Sherfy has pitched his way towards higher and higher leverage situations, so news that he has been battling tightness in his right triceps was unwelcome.

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Lovullo said Sherfy is "day to day" and there is still a chance that Sherfy would be healthy enough for the postseason. However, the D-backs will want to get him into a game before the NL Wild Card Game in order for them to feel comfortable putting him on the roster.

If he is not able to pitch in Sunday's regular-season finale, it's possible that Sherfy could get some work in an instructional league game in Phoenix.

"Being day to day makes me optimistic when I hear that," Lovullo said. "For right now, it's of minimal concern. He's gone out an executed as good as anybody. He's throwing the ball with confidence. I still think that will continue."

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.