We noted in this week's Independent Baseball Insider, which went out to subscribers Thursday night, how Max Scherzer of the Arizona Diamondbacks (and a former member of the Fort Worth Cats of the American Association) and Craig Breslow had picked up their first major league victories in recent days. Breslow, the onetime New Jersey Jackal (now in the Can-Am League), got his shortly before Minnesota sent him west to the Oakland Athletics.
Add Clay Zavada to those with a "W". This lefty, who was in the Frontier League (Southern Illinois) one year ago at this time, got his in what could be called more dramatic fashion. It came in his first major league game. Zavada, who had been called up for a day recently only to go back to Double-A Mobile, AL without pitching, had just rejoined the D-Backs Thursday.
The 24-year-old relieved Scherzer in the seventh inning at Florida on the short end of a 3-2 score, struck out two of the three hitters he faced and became the winner when Arizona rallied for two runs in the eighth inning. A neat way to break in.
LIMA GOES THE DISTANCE
These tired eyes could not have been more surprised when reading the recap of last night's Golden League openers than to see that Jose Lima went the full eight innings for Long Beach, CA. Almost unheard of for any hurler to go the distance in an opener, and this longtime major leaguer is not a spring chicken or someone who has dazzled in recent years. Lima was on the short end of a 4-0 decision at Calgary, still his six-hit performance without allowing a single walk (six strikeouts) is mighty impressive.
FIRST SUBSCRIBER FROM THE FAR EAST
On a personal note, what a nice feeling to pick up a subscriber for the Independent Baseball Insider from Japan. It came from Saitama City in eastern Japan, a city which an on-line search tells me has only been around since 2001 when three cities merged.
Sayonara and happy Memorial Day.