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Zack Greinke 'just a little off' in spring debut

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Sloan Park is in its second year of existence, the spring training home of the Cubs in Mesa, Arizona.
Sloan Park is in its second year of existence, the spring training home of the Cubs in Mesa, Arizona.
Photo: Eric Stephen | True Blue LA

MESA, Ariz. -- Zack Greinke made his 2015 Cactus League debut on Wednesday against the Cubs, and felt his usual control was missing just a bit.

"My stuff was just a little off," Greinke said. "I guess, it was okay for a first start."

Greinke threw 30 pitches in two innings, allowing two runs on two hits with two walks in a deuces wild performance.

"I missed a lot by just an inch off or so the plate. A lot of them were really close but weren't quite there," Greinke explained. "It doesn't happen very often during the season. Usually I'm a little better than that. I'm guessing a lot of that has to do with it being the first start."

Greinke hit his first batter of the game - Dexter Fowler - and then allowed a hard-hit ball by Anthony Rizzo, but it was deftly fielded at second base by Howie Kendrick and turned into a double play, helping Greinke to a quick, eight-pitch first inning.

In the second inning, things didn't go so well for Greinke, who walked two and allowed a pair of singles, the latter a two-run single with the bases loaded by old friend Mike Baxter.

"I'm trying to make my slider better than it was last year but it really hasn't worked too much. I'm trying to figure out if I going to keep trying to make it better, or just go back to last year's slider, because today was pretty bad," Greinke said. "It looks good, I just gave up more hits than normal on it."

Greinke's spring timetable got pushed back a bit because of a lubricating injection in his right elbow at the start of camp, something he has done in each of his three springs with the Dodgers. He said he has no ill effects and that his elbow feels fine.

"I felt really good today, health-wise at least," Greinke said. "I have another start in five days, and should be good to go."