Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Phoenix, Are You Scherzer?

This is actually going to be a rare Arizona-based blog... seems like all of the BIG sports stories tonight involve the Arizona teams, so that's where I'm going... one involves the Diamondbacks baseball team, the other the Suns basketball team.

First off, Arizona Diamondbacks phenom Max Scherzer (pronounced "Sure Zur") made his major league debut at home against the Houston Astros tonight and impressed everyone watching, pitching 4 1/3 perfect innings, while striking out seven in relief of an ineffective Edgar Gonzalez. Gonzalez was pulled with two outs in the third inning after allowing six earned runs. Scherzer's 98 MPH fastball and devestating curveball simply had the Astros hitters completely baffled. If you're in a fantasy league, it's strongly recommended that you pick him up as he could be in a starting role with the D-Backs very soon thanks to injuries to several starters. Even in relief, seven strikeouts can certainly help your team - I even subbed him in for Ian Snell and Derek Lowe in a few leagues today and that paid off VERY nicely!

As for a move that didn't pay off so well, that would go to the Phoenix Suns and the trade they made to counteract the Los Angeles Lakers' move a few days earlier to get All-Star forward Pau Gasol. I made a post on February 6th stating that acquiring Shaquille O'Neal from the Miami Heat flat-out wouldn't work as Shaq would not fit in well with the Suns fast-paced offense:

Shaq Diesel to Phoenix?

Five days later, I commented that the trade for Shaq would be termed "infamous."

At the time of the trade, the Suns held a 2 1/2 game lead over the Lakers in the NBA's Pacific Division. At season's end, the Suns would find themselves two games back of the #1 Western Conference seeded Lakers and scratching their heads as they went to take on the defending NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs in their first round playoff series. The Spurs won the first three games of their series, while the Suns took game four to make it a three games to one San Antonio lead going into tonight's game at the Alamodome in San Antonio. The game was close throughout, but in the end, the Suns and Shaq simply could not match up or play San Antonio's slow down game as the Spurs prevaled by a 92-87 score. As for Shaq, he had a horrible game, making only two of eight field goal attempts and missing 11 of his 20 free throws. Yes, if Shaq could have just made his free throws? Sound familiar?

So, while the sun may have set on the Suns tonight, a bright star by the name of Max Scherzer may have risen out of the ashes in Phoenix as well!!!


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