Notes: Scherzer remains unsigned
D-backs seeing some tough starters; Melvin calm after ejection
PHOENIX -- It's looking more and more like if the D-backs are going to sign first-round pick Max Scherzer it's going to happen just before the May 31 deadline.
Scherzer signed recently with the Independent League Fort Worth Cats. The right-hander was selected by the D-backs with the 11th overall pick in the 2006 First-Year Player Draft and remains the lone unsigned first-round pick.
D-backs front office personnel led by general manager Josh Byrnes traveled to California in March to meet with Scherzer and his agent, Scott Boras, but it doesn't sound like there has been much discussion between the two sides since.
"It's been a while," Byrnes said when asked when he last spoke with Boras.
If the D-backs don't sign Scherzer by the May 31 deadline, he will go back into the draft pool.
"I think it will likely go down to the end," Byrnes said. "He'll pitch now, we'll scout him like other teams, and probably revisit it as we get into may to see can work something out."
Better get used to it: The D-backs have run into some tough pitchers lately, but it's not going to get any easier. The National League West is loaded with top-quality starters and Arizona will see its rivals 18 times apiece this year.
"We're going to have to hit that kind of pitching if we're going to score enough runs to win," Byrnes said. "The more we see it, the better chance we have of figuring it out."
Good pitching means lower-scoring games, and the fewer the runs, the less margin there is for fundamental mistakes or defensive miscues.
"You have to be crisp and you have to execute and you have to make your pitch and you have to play smart, especially late in games," manager Bob Melvin said. "A lot of times, it's going to be one thing that might not show up in the box score that's going to be the difference between winning and losing."
New day: Melvin exchanged heated words with home-plate umpire Mike Reilly on Wednesday night, which led to his ejection.
Melvin and D-backs hitters were unhappy with some of the strike calls given to the Padres' Jake Peavy as he was on his way to striking out 16.
"You know there are just days where you're more emotional than others," Melvin said. "So it moves on. [The umpires] understand that there's emotions on both sides. It's not the first time I've been kicked out and not the last time I'll be kicked out, and I've always had a good relationship with [Reilly], so hopefully there's no carryover effect on either side."
On the other hand: Melvin does hope the positive feelings from Wednesday's improbable comeback win carry over.
"It definitely has an effect later on," he said. "You know you can come back and you know you can win off the best. Over the course of the season when you do that a few times, every time you get into the ninth inning you feel like you've got a chance to win."
Up next: After being swept by the Giants last weekend in San Francisco, the D-backs get another shot at them this weekend in a three-game series that begins Friday night at 6:40 MST at Chase Field.
Arizona pitchers allowed just seven runs in the three games, but could not come away with a win as the offense mustered three runs against San Francisco pitching.
Doug Davis gets the starting nod for the D-backs. The lefty was the hard-luck loser last Friday in San Francisco. He allowed four runs (two earned) in six innings. He was hurt by poor defense behind him when shortstop Stephen Drew and second baseman Orlando Hudson collided trying to catch a popup in the first inning and allowed two runs to score.
"Felt like he had a lot more confidence out there and knew where the ball was going," Melvin said of Davis. "When he knows where the ball is going and his mechanics are sound, he's going to pitch well and keep us in games."
Barry Zito will start for the Giants. The lefty combined with a pair of relievers for a 1-0 shutout of the D-backs last Saturday.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.