LOS ANGELES -- Zack Greinke said he felt strong again on the mound on Saturday after pitching seven innings in a win over the Mets at Dodger Stadium. Greinke and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly downplayed the elbow discomfort that pushed Greinke's start back two days.
"He threw the ball well," Mattingly said. "I thought he was sharp. His breaking ball was good. If we didn't know anything about what's going on and pushing him back two days, nobody would even mention anything."
Greinke did allow four runs and two home runs in his seven innings, though the three-run home run by Juan Lagares in the fourth inning was on a changeup thrown exactly where Greinke wanted it.
"I looked back over his career. It's strange, when you throw him a good changeup he hits it," Greinke said. "Over his career, he has been better at changeups down in the zone rather than over the plate."
Mattingly said Greinke's situation is the opposite of Josh Beckett, whose MRI showed a hip impingement that he tried to pitch through. Greinke's MRI two weeks ago was clean and showed no structural damage in the elbow, and Mattingly trusts Greinke to tell him if he felt anything out of the ordinary.
"You guys aren't going to believe me because I got pushed back a few days, but it really doesn't bother me when the game is on the line and it doesn't affect any of my pitches," Greinke said. "I don't have any desire to give up 10 runs, or hurt myself more. But it's not really an issue right now."
Both Greinke and Mattingly agreed that the bigger issue will be how Greinke feels on Sunday, the day after his start, if there is any discomfort at all in his right elbow, a feeling that Greinke said comes and goes.
"Tomorrow is the bigger day. We didn't have any doubt he was going to feel good tonight," Mattingly said. "Hopefully tomorrow he wakes up, comes in here and feels good."
With Monday's off day and getting pushed back two days, Greinke on Saturday pitched on seven days rest. His next start will be on similarly long rest, with off days Monday and Thursday and Roberto Hernandez and Clayton Kershaw slated to pitch the two games in Arizona.
"I felt great again today," Greinke said. "Hopefully that's how it stays."
The Dodgers go for the sweep on Sunday afternoon, with Kevin Correia on the mound, and likely Hanley Ramirez at shortstop. Unless something changes by Sunday morning the Dodgers will activate Ramirez from the disabled list on his first day eligible to return from a strained right oblique.
"If he's good to go, I plan on playing him," Mattingly said Saturday afternoon.