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News » Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2009-09-04


Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2009-09-04


Arizona Diamondbacks Inside Pitch 2009-09-04One right-hander had 106 major league victories. One had two.

So signing veteran Jon Garland to flesh out the rotation rather than opening the spot to a whippersnapper such as Billy Buckner was a no-brainer for the Diamondbacks last winter. At the time, they envisioned themselves as a top contender in the NL West with a starting staff topped by Brandon Webb and Dan Haren, with Garland providing quality support.

Webb's season-long shoulder injury changed all that, of course.

The Diamondbacks went to Plan B this week, turning to Buckner after trading Garland to the Dodgers on Monday.

The D-backs saved $2.5 million on their portion of the likely buyout on Garland's $10 million option for 2010, and the immediate on-field result was the opportunity to take a longer look at Buckner. He appears to have developed into an intriguing candidate for a spot at the back end of the 2010 rotation after running off nine consecutive quality starts at Class AAA Reno.

"I guess it's good for (Garland) that he can go over there and be on a contender, but it was also an opportunity for me. So I was happy about it," Buckner said.

Buckner, 26, was not as good as Garland when they met in the Dodgers' 4-2 victory Thursday, giving up eight hits and four runs in six innings.

But Buckner kept the D-backs in the game while striking out four while allowing only one walk. He picked a runner off first and kept the Dodgers out of the big inning, pitching out of trouble in the second and sixth innings to limit the Dodgers to one run each time.

Buckner entered the game 2-5 with an 8.63 ERA. He gave up eight earned runs in 1 2/3 innings in a June 26 outing against the Angels, his last big-league start before being optioned to Reno.

DODGERS 4, DIAMONDBACKS 2: The D-backs struggled against former teammate Jon Garland, getting only five hits off him in seven innings. Garland, who was traded to the Dodgers on Monday, got stronger as he went along Thursday, retiring the final 14 batters he faced after Ryan Roberts' third-inning single.

Stephen Drew had two of the D-backs' seven hits, singling and scoring in the first inning and hitting a solo homer in the third in the at-bat immediately before Roberts. C Miguel Montero, hitting third in place of OF Justin Upton, had a hit and walked.

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Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: September 4, 2009

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