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News » Arizona Diamondbacks Notes, Quotes 2008-05-30

Arizona Diamondbacks Notes, Quotes 2008-05-30

Arizona Diamondbacks Notes, Quotes 2008-05-30
--LHP Randy Johnson struck out nine in seven innings to tie Roger Clemens for No. 2 in major league history with 4,672 strikeouts. "I'm making progress. I'm not washed up," he said. Tying Clemens "is kind of a moot point," he added. "Winning ballgames is the most important thing." Johnson was in line for his 289th career victory, which would have broken a tie with Tommy John for 24th all-time, until San Francisco tied the game with an unearned run in the eighth inning. Nolan Ryan had 5,714 strikeouts. Johnson is the most efficient strikeout artist in major league history, averaging 10.76 strikeouts per nine innings in his 21 seasons.

--OF Justin Upton, who ended an 0-for-27 skid with a two-run double Wednesday, hit a 438-foot home run and a run-scoring triple Thursday. It was Upton's first homer since May 5 and his second since April 12, a span of 137 at-bats. "It was obviously frustrating. My confidence never wavered," said Upton of his slump, adding that frequent talks with his brother, Tampa Bay CF B J. Upton, helped. "He'd tell me little things to keep my head off struggling. He's been through it. We've all been through it. It's always something small that gets you back on track."

--RHP Max Scherzer, 0-2 with a 1.96 ERA, could be used as a setup man or to pitch multiple innings to close a game in which the Diamondbacks lead, manager Bob Melvin said. "We have him here for a reason. It is to pitch big innings for us, and a lot of times deep innings," Melvin said. "I don't want to tax our (relievers) too much."

--RHP Juan Cruz, who left with neck pain after pitching to five batters Wednesday, does not appear seriously injured. The Diamondbacks said he had a sore trapezius muscle in the left side of his neck and should be available for the Washington series this weekend. Cruz, 1-0 with a 3.48 ERA, has 31 strikeouts and 19 walks in 20 2/3 innings.

--The Diamondbacks have lost 13 of their last 21 games, yet have gained one-half game on their NL West lead. The Diamondbacks led Los Angeles by three games on May 7 and will take will take a 3 1/2-game lead into a weekend series against Washington.

--RHP Chad Qualls has given up ninth-inning home runs in two of his last three appearances, both homers breaking ties. They are the only two homers he has allowed in 26 innings. "That's the life of a reliever, and it's hard sometimes," Qualls said. "One of the ballplayers who took me under his wing, Russ Springer, always told me 'Man, if it was easy, everybody would be doing it.' Some days are just harder than others."

--RHP Micah Owings has made four consecutive quality starts, and eight in his 10 outings as he prepares for a second career start against Washington on Friday. Owings made his major league debut in a 7-1 victory in Washington on April 5, 2007, pitching five shutout innings in a 7-1 victory while allowing only one hit and striking out six. Owings set a career high with 10 strikeouts at Florida in a 3-2 loss May 20.

BY THE NUMBERS: 4,663 -- Strikeouts by LHP Randy Johnson after he whiffed 10 at Atlanta on May 24, leaving him nine short of Roger Clemens for No. 2 on the career list behind Nolan Ryan (5,714).

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Everybody kind of realized what they are all about today, a little more than baseball. When he took the mound, he had to have some goose bumps. But once he got into the flow of the game, it was just another game. He's an amazing guy." -- D-backs manager Bob Melvin, after LHP Doug Davis beat Atlanta, 11-1, on Friday, pitching 43 days after a cancerous thyroid was removed.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: May 30, 2008

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