Max Scherzer had what may have been the best outing of his young career Wednesday night as he beat the Los Angeles Dodgers and one of the better pitchers in the National League, Chad Billingsley, 4-1. Mad Max, a pitcher with incredible stuff but frequent bouts of inconsistency, was rock solid on Wednesday, pitching 7.2 innings and giving up only one run on seven hits. His four strikeouts was fewer than usual, but all that means is that he threw fewer pitches in more innings. Sure enough, Scherzer needed only 102 pitches to get deep into the eighth inning. He improved his record to 9-8 (really, not bad for a team that's 14 games under .500) and lowered his ERA to a bordering-on-respectable 4.10. Anyone who's been watching the 25-year-old Scherzer knows this kid has All-Star-type stuff and has the potential to be an excellent third man in the D-Backs' rotation in 2010.
Even with the D-Backs' top run producer, Mark Reynolds, in a mini-slump (only one hit in this past 17 at-bats), the Snakes are getting the job done since Reynolds and Justin Upton returned to the lineup a little over a week ago. Wednesday's win was the sixth out of their past seven games. They're doing their best to play spoiler and, more importantly, build momentum as they head into the off-season, hungry for success in 2010, which doesn't seem out of the question when you consider a potentially big-time starting rotation and a solid core of young hitters in Reynolds, Upton, Stephen Drew, and Montero. When it's all said and done, you may be able to throw Ryan Roberts and Gerardo Parra into that mix.