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News » Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2008-09-24

Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2008-09-24

Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2008-09-24
Rookie right-hander Max Scherzer will be living a dream in his first start in Busch Stadium on Wednesday.

Scherzer was born and raised in St. Louis, and his father has Cardinals season tickets, as did his grandfather. Scherzer attended his first World Series game in St. Louis -- not in 2006, the last time the Cards won it, but in 1985. He was 1.

"I got into baseball because of the Cardinals," Scherzer said. "They play hard. They play the game right. My favorite player was Ozzie Smith. Baseball has been very rich in my family.

"The dream is to make the major leagues. It is icing on the cake to be able to pitch in Busch Stadium."

Scherzer said he has received 60 ticket requests, and said that his folks told him another 30 to 40 already have tickets to the game.

"Now I have to pitch well," Scherzer said with a laugh.

Scherzer, the Diamondbacks' first-round draft pick in 2006, is 0-3 with a 3.00 ERA, but he has been given only eight runs of support while he has been in the game in his six starts. He has 28 strikeouts in 17 innings since rejoining the rotation Sept. 7 but is 0-1 in three starts.

While some scouts see Scherzer as a closer type, the D-backs still like him as a starter. He is working to maintain consistency with his secondary pitches -- his fastball rises to hit 98 mph -- and also learn to pitch to contact, at least a little, to keep his pitch counts lower.

"The need for us (going forward) is as a starter, and he hasn't done anything to suggest he can't be a starter," manager Bob Melvin said.

CARDINALS 7, DIAMONDBACKS 4: Randy Johnson gave up four runs five batters into the first inning as the D-backs had their three-game winning streak broken and fell three games behind Los Angeles in the NL West with five games to play. Chris Young hit his 21st home run to cut the D-backs' deficit to 4-2 in the fourth inning, but they did not get closer. They had won seven of their previous eight to cut a 4 1/2-game Dodgers lead to two. Miguel Montero hit his fifth home run of the season.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: September 24, 2008

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