Scherzer to Start for Big Unit on Sunday

On Sunday, Max Scherzer will make a spot start for Randy Johnson, who will rest a fatigued shoulder.

Randy Johnson only went 3.2 innings in his previous start Monday, when he allowed five runs, including four home runs.

"I felt it in my last start against St. Louis, pitched through it and the results were what they were," said Johnson. "I felt like this might be the opportunity to get a little bit of a breather for my shoulder and then get it ready to finish the last four games that I have and then postseason."

The Diamondbacks rotation is currently in disarray after representing the team's biggest strength for most of the year. Dual aces Brandon Webb and Dan Haren have each struggled in their last few starts as well. Yusmeiro Petit labored in his most recent outing after providing a surprise boost to the staff late in the summer, and Doug Davis has been inconsistent all season long.

It will be up to Max Scherzer to right the ship in a key contest on Sunday, with the D-backs finding themselves trailing the Dodgers for the fist time in weeks. If the Dodgers were to complete the sweep on Sunday, Arizona would trail them by 1.5 games with no more to play against their rivals and only three weeks remaining in the season.

"I just don't see [Sunday's] game outweighing the other four that I'm going to pitch and then possibly postseason," Johnson said.

Max Scherzer was slated for bullpen work in part to limit his innings pitched for the season. Also, the team did not want to shuttle him back and forth between the two roles too often, knowing that his place will be in the bullpen in the playoffs with the four-man rotation in effect.

Unfortunately, for the first time in a while, a playoff appearance for the Arizona Diamondbacks appears to be in serious jeopardy.

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