Published May 03, 2011
ATLANTA – The Milwaukee Brewers' wait for Zack Greinke's first start is almost over.
Greinke, the 2009 American League Cy Young winner, will start for the Brewers in the second game of Wednesday's doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves.
The Braves-Brewers game was postponed by rain following a delay of 1 hour, 28 minutes on Tuesday night, forcing Wednesday's traditional doubleheader which will begin at 4 p.m.
Greinke broke a rib playing pickup basketball and opened the season on the disabled list. He made three starts in his minor league rehab assignment, including two games with Triple-A Nashville. He pitched five innings in his last start with Nashville, giving up two runs on seven hits with seven strikeouts and one walk.
Atlanta's Tommy Hanson and Tim Hudson are scheduled to face Milwaukee's Marco Estrada and Greinke.
Greinke said he won't feel unusual pressure in his debut with Milwaukee.
"I'm just looking forward to being back," he said.
The Brewers will have to make a roster move to bring Greinke off the disabled list.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said he had not decided if the team would wait until after the first game to make the roster move.
"The first game may dictate what we're going to do," Roenicke said. "We may make a move before the first game. But we may wait. I can't tell you exactly what we're going to do."
Roenicke said he hopes Greinke can last six or seven innings, especially if the Brewers' bullpen is worked heavily in the first game.
"That would be really nice," Roenicke said. "It makes it a little tough if we don't get (long starts), especially in the first game. The bullpen is the question."
The Brewers acquired Greinke from Kansas City on Dec. 19. The trade sent shortstop Alcides Escobar and outfielder Lorenzo Cain, among others, to the Royals. The Brewers also acquired shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt in the deal.
Greinke will be familiar with Turner Field. He was the starting pitcher but did not receive a decision in the Royals' 5-4 loss to the Braves on June 19, 2010. Greinke allowed six hits, four runs — three earned — and no walks in seven innings.
"I know when he's healthy he's pretty good," said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez.
The Braves will be playing their second traditional doubleheader of the season.
The Braves swept the New York Mets in a doubleheader on April 16 at Turner Field after a rain postponement the previous day.
The second twinbill is unusual for a team that has played only 13 home games.
"That's Atlanta for you," said Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, who said the good news is the teams avoided a split-doubleheader.
"It's hard to play for three hours and then sit for three hours and then play again," Jones said.
Jones, who has returned from the second major knee surgery of his career this season, played both games of the April 16 doubleheader and said he plans to play both games on Wednesday.
It was the 19th game postponed this season, two shy of last year's total. The wet start again has forced Gonzalez to contemplate the ramifications a doubleheader will have on his pitching staff for the second time in three weeks.
Gonzalez said either Hanson or Hudson might pitch on three days' rest to keep the team from having to bring up a fill-in starter from the minor leagues.
"We'll kick it around," Gonzalez said.
NOTES: Brewers OF Nyjer Morgan was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list and was in the starting lineup, batting second and playing center field. He is returning from a bruised right quadriceps. ... The Brewers placed LHP Zach Braddock on the 15-day DL because of a sleep disorder. Roenicke said tests on Braddock the last 10 days confirmed the disorder.