Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke were teammates for three seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but Kershaw isn't thrilled about pitching to his friend when the Arizona Diamondbacks come to town Friday night.
Speaking to reporters before Friday's tilt, Kershaw admitted he's unenthused about the matchup, according to ESPN.com news services:
I don't really look forward to it. 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.
On the flip side, Greinke sounded more ecstatic about the impending action.
"I've been wanting to face him, just to see how nasty he is," Greinke said, per ESPN.com news services. "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."
The meeting between the Dodgers (5-5) and Diamondbacks (7-3) will mark the first this season and the first of seven that are set to take place between Friday and Sunday, April 23.
Kershaw (1-1, 3.46 ERA) will be looking to bounce back after he recorded a loss in the Dodgers' 4-2 defeat to the Colorado Rockies on April 8. In that outing, the 29-year-old surrendered eight hits and all four earned runs in six innings.
Greinke, however, will attempt to rattle off wins in consecutive starts after he struck out six and scattered five hits over 6.2 innings in Arizona's 11-2 romp over the Cleveland Indians six days ago.