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News » Arizona Diamondbacks Notes, Quotes 2008-05-03


Arizona Diamondbacks Notes, Quotes 2008-05-03


Arizona Diamondbacks Notes, Quotes 2008-05-03
--Going by history, the D-backs' defense of their 2007 NL West title is a sure thing after they opened a 5-1/2-game lead at the end of April. Nine teams in modern major league history have led their league/division by at least five games at the conclusion of April, and all nine have made the postseason. "It's great to get off to a good start," said RHP Brandon Webb, a National League-best 6-0 entering Saturday's start. "It gets your confidence up early, and we'll try to ride it as long as possible. Winning early games gives you a little cushion at the end."

--LHP Doug Davis threw a bullpen session Friday, three days after his radiation iodine treatment designed to identify and eradicate cancer cells that remain in his body after his cancerous thyroid was removed April 10. "I feel great," said Davis, who is back on his daily thyroid medication. "I thought it was going to be a lot worse than it was. I was pretty fortunate." Davis hopes to make two rehabilitation starts, the first either Monday or Tuesday, and has targeted a return to the D-backs for a May 16-18 series against Detroit. Davis, quarantined for three days after taking the radioactive iodine, has pitched off a mound twice since his surgery.

--RHP Brandon Webb has won all six of his starts, the first time that has happened in the National League since teammate LHP Randy Johnson won his first six in 2002, the year Johnson won his fourth consecutive NL Cy Young Award. Johnson won a franchise-record seven straight starts to open 2000. Webb, who is to start Saturday, won his first eight decisions in 2006 over a period of 11 starts.

--RHP Micah Owings' pinch-hit home run Wednesday was the first by a member of a major league starting rotation who was hitting between starts since San Francisco RHP Don Robinson did it in 1990. Owings had a 12-pitch at-bat while working a walk off Mets RHP John Maine in the fourth inning of a 7-2 loss Friday and had walks in both plate appearances, keeping his batting average at .421.

--3B Mark Reynolds has added another facet to his game, stealing three bases in his first 27 games this season after having none in 111 games in his rookie year in 2007. Reynolds has stolen second base twice and third once, Monday against Houston, when the defenders did not hold him on and the pitcher had a relatively slow 2.0-second delivery to the plate. "I know I ain't that fast, but if I can take advantage of that situation I'm going to do it," Reynolds said. "Whether it's second or third, it puts you in scoring position. It can't do anything but help the team. It's definitely an aspect I want to add to my game."

--C Miguel Montero has eight hits in his 20 at-bats since being activated from the disabled list April 23 and doubled in one of the D-backs' two runs Friday. Montero has started LHP Randy Johnson's previous two starts and is likely to continue in that role, manager Bob Melvin said.

--1B Conor Jackson is off to a career-best start, tied for second in franchise history with 25 RBIs in April. 3B Matt Williams, now a D-backs partner and part-time TV analyst, had 25 RBIs in 1999 before May 1. OF Luis Gonzalez holds the franchise record (27), set in 2001, when he also had 10 homers in April.

BY THE NUMBERS: 17-5 -- Diamondbacks' record in a 22-game stretch against the NL West that concluded April 27.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "Every game counts. We'll take it. It's a 22-game block, more than a quarter of our games in the division. To do well is important. But some teams that were off to great starts last year didn't get to October, so we are not overestimating what happens. But it is good to win games in your division." -- General manager Josh Byrnes, on the D-backs' 17-5 record against the NL West.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 3, 2008

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