The Future is Now?

After Micah Owings left the game yesterday he was followed by right fielder Justin Upton who was bothered by a hamstring problem. The Diamondbacks would erase the deficit and battled with the Padres to a 7-7 tie at the end of nine. The game would continue to the 13th inning when Yusmeiro Petit gave up a home run to Padres second baseman Tadahito Iguchi losing the game 8-7. After the game Petit was optioned to Triple-A Tucson and 2006 first round draft pick Max Scherzer was called up. Scherzer had a very good Spring Training before being sent to Tucson to begin the year with the Sidewinders. During his stint in Tucson Scherzer allowed just 38 hits over 23 innings while posting a 1.17 ERA. He also showed why he was the eleventh player overall selected in the 2006 amateur draft by striking out 38 batters.

Scherzer had a very good year last season finishing up in the Arizona Fall League where he pitched out of the bullpen. His success in the AFL made many question whether Max was better suited to being a closer or a starter. This season in Tucson he went back in the rotation showing he is quite capable of starting. With the injury to Owings coupled with a stretch where the Diamondbacks will play 10 games in 11 days made the call-up necessary. Scherzer will initially be used out of the bullpen in long relief but if Owings ankle does not respond well enough to treatments Max could find himself thrust into the starting rotation for the Diamondbacks. It is going to be interesting to see how this all plays out. Player development personnel believe Scherzer to be part of the long-term future plans for the Arizona Diamondbacks. It is just that no one thought that today was the future.

And while the call-up of one of the Diamondbacks blue chip prospects was exciting, it was nothing compared to what happened on the field today. The Diamondbacks and Padres found themselves in the midst of an old-fashioned pitchers duel between the past two Cy Young award winners. Jake Peavy looked like his masterful self baffling Diamondbacks hitters for most of the game. His one mistake occurred to Arizona catcher Chris Snyder who planted a Peavy pitch beyond the centerfield wall in the deepest part of Petco Park. That two-run blast was all the offense the Diamondbacks would need as Brandon Webb outpitched Peavy to earn his sixth consecutive win to begin the season 6-0. He lowered his ERA to a miniscule 1.98 and the Diamondbacks moved their record to 18-7 the best in the Major Leagues. I think the Padres and the rest of the National League Western Division teams will be glad to not have to play the Diamondbacks for a while.

As a continued public service let me update you on the lastest on Carlos Quentin. Since his trade to the Chicago White Sox Quentin has solidified his stature as an up-and-coming star. He now has 5 home runs driving in 19 runs. His batting average is now up to .288 and his slugging percentage is .562. Even more impressive Carlos has been hit by pitch 6 times including 3 this weekend. Quentin was hit in each game of the double header yesterday and was hit again today. He is now tied with David Eckstein for the league lead in that category despite having 21 fewer at bats. Quentin seems to be well on his way towards chasing down Hughie Jennings. At this point Carlos only needs to be plunked another 262 more times. He might have that by the time the season ends the way he is going.

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