August 18, 2007 defined the season for Diamondbacks rookie Micah Owings. Prior to that game Micah was on-again-off-again on the mound and there were beginning to be rumblings that perhaps Owings was better suited as a long reliever rather than a starter. That night in Turner Field Micah put on a show that may never be seen again. On the mound he allowed 3 runs on 3 hits all of them home runs in 7 innings of work. He also struck out 7 Braves batters and lowered his earned run average to 4.70. That was only part of the story though. At the plate Micah Owings went 4-5 with a double and 2 home runs driving in 6 runs and carried the team on his back to a 12-6 win. From that moment on Micah Owings was a starting pitcher and more importantly an offensive force to be reckoned with at the plate. Teams from that point had to prepare differently for games where Owings pitched. National League managers had to think like their American League counterparts looking at Micah as more of a designated hitter than a pitcher.
With the Arizona Diamondbacks scuffling on this road trip, everyone was looking at this game today as one where Micah would once again show that home cooking and local friends and family are a good combination. Although lightning rarely strikes twice, there were storm clouds on the horizon and the Diamondbacks definitely needed some help. For the majority of the road trip the bats have been quiet. Hopefully a pitcher would make a difference. The game began with a bright spot as center fielder Chris Young led off the game with a home run off future Hall-of-Famer Tom Glavine. The celebration was short lived though when Atlanta came back in the second inning to tie the game at 2-2 then scored again in the third inning to take the lead. Owings then settled down and began retiring Braves.
A struggling Eric Byrnes came up in the fifth inning with the bases loaded. There were more than a few Diamondbacks fans that collectively held their breath as this was the perfect situation for Byrnes to make an out stranding three runners. Instead Eric hit the first grand slam of his career giving the Diamondbacks the lead for good. Arizona would tack on 2 more runs in the eighth and another in the ninth to finish the game with the score 9-3. As for Micah Owings and his prolific bat, it was like so many others this road trip and never connected for a hit. Despite going 0-3 at the plate I am sure Micah is content knowing he pitched well enough to give his team the victory. Maybe this will lead to a string of victories. Heaven knows we could use them.