Zack Greinke

Former Phillies reliever Pat Neshek angry with Zack Greinke over autograph fiasco

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Former Phillies reliever Pat Neshek angry with Zack Greinke over autograph fiasco

Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Greinke will sign an autograph for me, but not former Phillies reliever Pat Neshek.

Years ago, when Greinke played for the Kansas City Royals, he autographed a baseball for me before a game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Neshek, however, was not as lucky.

In addition to pitching for the Rockies, Neshek is an avid baseball memorabilia collector. He has written about it in the past on his website, and apparently is a frequent poster on the Sportscollectors.net message board.

Hat tip to Deadspin here: Neshek recently posted on the message board under the username "heat17" about a dispute with Greinke at a game against the Diamondbacks a few weeks ago, ripping the starting pitcher for refusing to sign an autograph for him.

Neshek wrote ...

"I asked him at the all star game if he would sign for me and he said he would... so a couple weeks ago we played them and I sent over the cards I needed signed... basically 3 league leaders cards with Kershaw and Wainwright already done and 2 from 2015 to complete the set. He said no... I waited around for him during batting practice and went up to him and he totally denied having the conversation at the all star game... I then asked why this was a problem and he said it's because "I wear him out." Hard to wear someone out when he has never signed for me. This is the only a-hole in major league baseball that has been a turd to me."

Neshek later compared Greinke's behavior to a few other MLB players he has dealt with in the past, but said he has "never seen anything like Greinke."

"So going back to the conversation I said can you just get these done it will take 5 seconds... just draw a little z on them for me... He said no I will never sign for you... I walked away... a couple minutes later I confronted him in the outfield while he was jogging and told him what I thought of him... he just kept on running then said I wouldn't even sign for your kid if he asked.... I wanted to laugh knowing he had probably thought of that line for a long time and that was the best he could come up with... I then let him know what I thought of him again and being the socially awkward guy he is ran back to the dugout and went inside. Soooo I'm done with this guy. I'm basically gonna have to trade with someone on here to 50/50 them down the road."

When his message board posts recieved attention, he poked fun at the issue on Twitter.

After a few hours of attention, it seems like Neshek has moved past the dispute.

Phillies-D-backs 5 things: Timely test for Nick Pivetta

Phillies-D-backs 5 things: Timely test for Nick Pivetta

Phillies (24-50) at Diamondbacks (48-28)
3:40 p.m. on CSN; streaming live on CSNPhilly.com and the NBC Sports App

Looking for a split in their four-game, wraparound series with the Diamondbacks, the Phillies send out Nick Pivetta, their hottest starting pitcher.

1. Pivetta on a roll
Pivetta's struck out 19 batters in 13 innings his last two starts, nine Red Sox then 10 Cardinals, both at home.

He pounded the strike zone in both starts better than he had before, trusting his 95 mph-plus fastball and potentially plus breaking ball and improving his sequencing. Against the Red Sox, Pivetta tested a good lineup with upper-90s heat and missed bats. Against the Cardinals, he froze hitters and got them to swing over the top of two-strike breaking balls.

He's induced 15 swinging strikes in each of the last two starts.

Pivetta joined Jerad Eickhoff (2015) as the only Phillies rookie pitchers since Dick Ruthven in 1973 to strike out nine or more in consecutive starts.

This is a bigger challenge. He's facing one of the NL's best lineups in its ideal setting. The D-backs are 28-10 at home and have their ace going.

2. Greinke settling in at Chase
Greinke has fared much better in his second season in the desert. He signed that enormous contract prior to 2016 — six years, $206.5 million — and disappointed in Year 1, going 13-7 with a 4.37 ERA and his lowest strikeout rate in seven seasons.

He enters this start 8-4 with a 3.14 ERA. He's struck out 103 in 97⅓ innings and walked just 19. His opponents have hit .228, including .206 at home. Safe to say he's adjusted to Chase Field.

The Phillies faced Greinke twice last July. He held them to three hits and a run (an Odubel Herrera homer) over eight innings in the first start and exited in the second inning of the other with an oblique strain.

Greinke is always a difficult matchup. Four-seam fastball (90 to 92 mph), slider, changeup, curve, two-seamer and the occasional sloooow curveball in the upper-60s. 

His slider's held hitters to a .168 batting average in 1,845 at-bats over the last decade.

Current Phils are 12 for 58 (.207) off Greinke with just Herrera's homer, two walks and 15 strikeouts. Freddy Galvis is 1 for 12 with 7 K's.

3. Walk-off observers
The Phillies are going to be an opponent featured often in the highlight tapes of other teams in 2017. 

They've been on the losing end of a major-league high eight walk-offs after Sunday's 2-1 loss. It was their MLB-worst 19th loss in a one-run game. The Phils also have the most extra-inning losses with eight. They had just six walk-off losses all of last season.

This is what happens when a comparative lack of talent meets a lack of timely hits meets a lack of first-pitch strikes meets a lack of luck and breaks meets a lack of gopher ball avoidance.

4. At least there's Altherr
Aaron Altherr refuses to let a few bad days turn into a slump. He's no longer in that .330 or even .310 range, but he's settled in between .280 and .290 the last month and if he can do that with power, speed and good defense … that's a valuable player.

Altherr had a three-hit day Sunday with his second triple, to go along with 15 doubles, 12 homers and 39 RBIs. 

He's hitting .284/.352/.524 on the season. His .876 OPS is 40th in baseball. No, doesn't sound like much. But here are the some of the players behind him: Mookie Betts, Robinson Cano, Miguel Cabrera, Edwin Encarnacion, Justin Upton, Adam Duvall, Xander Bogaerts, Jose Abreu, Starlin Castro, Matt Carpenter, Andrew McCutchen, Eric Hosmer, on and on.

Altherr is a longshot to make the NL All-Star team but he's the most worthy Phillie after Pat Neshek.

5. This and that
• Edubray Ramos is 0-7 after taking the loss Sunday. Over the last 17 seasons, the only Phillies reliever to lose more games in a season was Brad Lidge (8) during his horrific 2009.

• How many NL players would you take over Paul Goldschmidt the next three to five seasons? Obvious guys like Corey Seager and Bryce Harper. After that? For me, it'd be between Nolan Arenado, Goldschmidt and Freddie Freeman. 

• Cameron Perkins has gotten his at-bats — all but one out of the leadoff spot — but hasn't yet done much with them, going 2 for 22 with no walks and eight strikeouts.

• Here's today's lineup that will face Greinke:

1. Daniel Nava, LF
2. Freddy Galvis, SS
3. Aaron Altherr, RF
4. Maikel Franco, 3B
5. Odubel Herrera, CF
6. Andres Blanco, 2B
7. Brock Stassi, 1B
8. Andrew Knapp, C
9. Nick Pivetta, P

MLB Notes: Nationals reinstate Stephen Strasburg from disabled list

MLB Notes: Nationals reinstate Stephen Strasburg from disabled list

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals reinstated right-hander Stephen Strasburg from the 15-day disabled list Sunday and moved starter Joe Ross to the DL with right shoulder inflammation.

Strasburg (10-0 2.90 ERA), on the DL retroactive to June 16 with an upper back strain, started Sunday's series finale against the Cincinnati Reds.

Ross, 23, labored through 5 1/3 innings against Cincinnati on Saturday, allowing a season-high 10 hits and four earned runs. Ross' velocity was noticeably down. After the game, manager Dusty Baker noted that the Nationals were "looking into some things."

Moving Ross to the DL also means rookie Lucas Giolito will remain in the rotation. The 21-year-old threw four scoreless innings in his debut June 28 against the New York Mets.

Strasburg signed a seven-year, $175 million extension in May and is the first pitcher in franchise history to begin a season with 10 straight wins.

Diamondbacks place ace Zack Greinke on disabled list with oblique strain
PHOENIX -- The Arizona Diamondbacks have placed Zack Greinke on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain.

The move is retroactive to last Wednesday.

The Diamondbacks ace left Tuesday night's game against Philadelphia after two innings. The injury came after Greinke hit a sacrifice fly.

Signed to a six-year, $206.5 million contract in the offseason, Greinke is 10-3 with a 3.62 ERA with Arizona. He had won seven of eight starts with a 2.18 ERA before last Tuesday's outing.

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals reinstated right-hander Stephen Strasburg from the 15-day disabled list Sunday and moved starter Joe Ross to the DL with right shoulder inflammation.

Strasburg (10-0 2.90 ERA), on the DL retroactive to June 16 with an upper back strain, started Sunday's series finale against the Cincinnati Reds.

Ross, 23, labored through 5 1/3 innings against Cincinnati on Saturday, allowing a season-high 10 hits and four earned runs. Ross' velocity was noticeably down. After the game, manager Dusty Baker noted that the Nationals were "looking into some things."

Moving Ross to the DL also means rookie Lucas Giolito will remain in the rotation. The 21-year-old threw four scoreless innings in his debut June 28 against the New York Mets.

Strasburg signed a seven-year, $175 million extension in May and is the first pitcher in franchise history to begin a season with 10 straight wins.

Edwin Encarnacion suspended one game for making contact with umpire
TORONTO -- Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion has been suspended one game for making contact with umpire Vic Carapazza during an argument Friday.

Encarnacion, who leads baseball with 73 RBIs, is eligible to play while he appeals the penalty.

Encarnacion was ejected for the first time this season for arguing with Carapazza after being called out on strikes to end the first inning of Friday's 19-inning, 2-1 loss to Cleveland. Encarnacion made contact with Carapazza's left shoulder after being ejected.

Manager John Gibbons came out to break up the argument and was also ejected.

Later in the game, Carapazza ejected Toronto catcher Russell Martin for arguing balls and strikes. An irate Martin had to be restrained by bench coach DeMarlo Hale and third base coach Luis Rivera.

Following Friday's defeat, Martin said Carapazza "just wasn't very good today."