D-Backs notebook: Johnson to miss start due to sore shoulder - East Valley Tribune: News

D-Backs notebook: Johnson to miss start due to sore shoulder

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Posted: Saturday, September 6, 2008 12:05 pm | Updated: 9:48 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Randy Johnson has been one of the best pitchers in the majors since the All-Star break, but despite that success and his back's compliance following two recent surgeries, he is resolute in not discussing his future, even though it seems obvious that he can contribute.

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"I am staying in the now," Johnson said with a smile.

So Johnson will only look as far as next Saturday, when he will make his next start after being scratched from a scheduled start today because of left shoulder inflammation.

Max Scherzer will take his place.

"It's not like a big issue in there," manager Bob Melvin said.

"I don't think it's a long-term thing. If we run him out there not feeling good, it could linger."

Johnson is 10-9 with a 4.21 ERA, but he is 4-2 with a 2.48 ERA since the All-Star break.

Throw out his start against St. Louis last Monday, when he gave up four home runs while trying to pitch through his shoulder pain, and his ERA is 1.82.

With 294 career victories, 300 seems eminently attainable, although with only four starts remaining, that would have to wait until 2009.

"It's never even crossed my mind," he said. "I'll rest my body over the winter and see where I am at that time."

Johnson, 45 on Wednesday, did not doubt his ability to pitch well this season, if healthy, and the recent results suggest he should not stop now.

He has 15 quality starts, ranked 45th among the 90 major league ERA qualifiers, and with 156 strikeouts in 156 innings ranks eighth among qualifiers with an average of one an inning.

"That's why I came back. I knew I could still do it," Johnson said. "The numbers don't indicate how well I've pitched.

"I have enjoyed this year. My main objective was to help the team, and I think I've been able to do that.

"The bottom line is, I'm pretty happy with the way the year has gone, healthwise. Not numbers-wise."

SCHERZER PREPARED

Max Scherzer was told four days ago that he might be needed to start today, so he has been able to tailor his week accordingly.

The unknown is how many pitches Scherzer will be able to throw. He threw 94 in his last minor league start for Triple-A Tucson, a 4-1 loss to Salt Lake on Aug. 24, but has thrown only three innings since returning to the D-backs on Aug. 29.

"It will depend how my arm holds up," said Scherzer, 0-2 with a 2.65 ERA here.

"I might throw 100 (pitches) if my arm feels good. I might throw 50 if my arm feels gassed."

He last worked Aug. 31, throwing two shutout innings against the Dodgers. In his two appearances since returning, he has three scoreless innings against them.

SHORT HOP

The D-Backs have 38 runs in their last 12 games, scoring more than four runs twice and more than two only four times, the reason Melvin moved Stephen Drew into the No. 3 spot Saturday. Melvin said he made the move "based on his production and our lack of production." The shortstop had a single in three at-bats and has 12 hits in his last 30 at-bats.

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