Clayton Kershaw not looking forward to facing Zack Greinke

ESPN logo
Friday, April 14, 2017

While Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zack Greinke is pumped up to be facing ex-teammate Clayton Kershaw on Friday night, the same can't be said of the Los Angeles Dodgers' ace.

"I don't really look forward to it," Kershaw told reporters. "You almost just try to block it out. It's not fun to pitch to people that you know. I'm not good at separating that. I think I'm just going to have to really focus and think about it like he's another guy, and then, the next day I can talk to him.

"Guys that you became pretty good buddies with -- it's not easy for me. I wouldn't say I'm not looking forward to it, but I'm definitely going to have to block it out a little bit."

Kershaw and Greinke were the Dodgers' 1-2 punch for three seasons, before Greinke signed a six-year, $206.5 million deal with the Diamondbacks in 2016. Together, the two posted a combined 104-34 record with a 2.09 ERA and 1,327 strikeouts in 1,269 innings as the Dodgers won three NL West titles from 2013 to 2015.

While Kershaw has reservations about pitching against his friend, Greinke is eager to see what's coming from the three-time Cy Young Award winner.

"I've been wanting to face him, just to see how nasty he is," Greinke told reporters. "He does do everything as perfect as you would want your pitcher to do -- great mindset, great work ethic. I learned more about that than the actual pitching part of it. He's pretty special."