"Five years?" Volquez said, not sounding entirely sure of himself.
As it turns out, Volquez's no-walk performance in a loss to the D-backs on Wednesday marked the first time since Sept. 25, 2006 -- when he was a rookie for the Rangers -- that he didn't walk a batter.
In case you're wondering, that's a stretch of 103 starts. Although the Padres lost, 6-2, after Volquez allowed four runs in six innings, he displayed the kind of accurate command, at least in terms of walks, that has largely eluded him in his Major League career.
Since 2008, Volquez ranks second among Major League pitchers in walks per nine innings (4.97), trailing only Jonathan Sanchez (5.00).
Oddly enough, Volquez has twice had games of six walks this season -- and won both starts. Prior to his start against the D-backs, Volquez's fewest walks in a game this season came on April 26 against the Nationals, as he walked one over seven innings.
"I saw a much shorter delivery and didn't see him overthrow his fastball and changeup," San Diego manager Bud Black said. "I thought that his mechanics were pretty solid. There were more first-pitch strikes and more pitches in the zone. Just a lot of quality thrown pitches."