Brewers manager Ron Roenicke made the decision Friday after Greinke threw a bullpen session at Miller Park. Right-hander Shaun Marcum will take the hill for Game 3.
"For one, Zack wanted to do it," Roenicke said. "He didn't throw a lot of pitches the other day. He threw a bullpen today and it was really good."
Greinke pitched Wednesday's final regular season game for the Crew, and he was forced to go deeper into the game with the club still needing a win to wrap up the No. 2 seed in the NL. He would otherwise have gone just one or two innings as a tuneup, but instead tossed 74 pitches over six innings in the Brewers' 7-3 victory.
Immediately following Greinke's last start, Roenicke did not seem likely to bring him back on short rest again, but Greinke didn't have an issue with it, saying he "should be" ready.
The advantage of bringing Greinke back of short rest for the Brewers is to take advantage of his home success this season. Greinke went 11-0 at home, and the Brewers won all 15 of his starts at Miller Park.
"It's all worked out better than I imagined so far," Greinke said Wednesday of his first season in Milwaukee. "It's been great. It's been a good year."
Roenicke said he had a preference to pitch Greinke at home, but it was not definite. Had Greinke gone 100 or more pitches Wednesday night, he would have been held until Game 3.
"[Greinke] knew he needed to win, but he was pitching [Wednesday] as if he was also going to [pitch] Sunday," Roenicke said. "I think ideally, if we were going to set it up and had we known four or five days ago, we probably would have set it up the same way. But with where they lined up at the end, this made the most sense to us."
Greinke went 5-6 on the road this season with a 4.70 ERA, compared with his 3.13 home ERA and overall mark of 3.83. In 76 2/3 innings on the road, Greinke allowed 40 earned runs on 76 hits, including nine home runs. At home, Greinke gave up just 33 earned runs over 95 innings.
Roenicke was quick to point out, though, that Greinke's road stats were negatively impacted by his struggles when he returned from a broken rib.
"If you take out the first month, they're not that much different," Roenicke said of Greinke's home/road splits. "He's pitched really well on the road lately. So no, that's a little skewed just because when he first came back with us, he wasn't very good on the road."
In six road starts before the All-Star break, Greinke went 2-3 with a 7.42 ERA. In the second half, Greinke posted a 2.91 ERA and a 3-3 record.
While the time off may have negatively affected Greinke's first-half performance on the road, his reduced workload plays in his and the Brewers' favor this weekend.
"If you look at Zack's numbers, this is going to be the least amount of work Zack's had in his career," Roenicke said. "That factors into what I was talking to Rick about. He's taxed less than anybody on our staff is. That helps also, me feeling better about him going on three days."