D-Backs Fell Friars; Webb Tired?
Brandon Webb (Mark J. Terill/AP)
Senior Editor
Posted Sep 6, 2007


The Arizona Diamondbacks won the final two games against the San Diego Padres, and now enjoy a 1-game lead in the NL West. That lead could be in jeopardy, however, if ace workhorse Brandon Webb cannot return to form down the stretch.

INSIDE PITCH

Is Brandon Webb starting to succumb to all the innings he's pitching -- 204 in all, nearly a complete game more than the nearest starting pitcher in the National League? Could that possibly be why he suddenly seems semi-average after throwing 42 consecutive scoreless innings?

No, he said. He's just fine.

"I feel real good," the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner said. "I haven't felt any fatigue, arm-wise, at all. I'm still feeling all right."

"Early on in my career, when I first started throwing 200 innings, I could feel it little bit. A lot of times, we were out of it. Now that we've got something extra to play for, I'm thinking it probably won't affect me as much as if we were totally out of it."

Webb has lost his last two starts, allowing 10 earned runs in defeats to the Rockies and Padres, and makes his next start Friday when the Cardinals visit Chase Field for the start of a three-game series following a day off for the Diamondbacks on Thursday.

Catcher Chris Snyder said he has no doubts about Webb regaining his Cy Young form.

"He's one of the best pitchers in the game. Webby's going to be fine," Snyder said. "Trust me on that. He's going to be just fine."

DIAMONDBACKS 9, PADRES 6: Rookie catcher Miguel Montero made almost as many trips to the pitching mound as he made from base to base on Wednesday, hitting two home runs and not being afraid to call timeout and go talk to all of his pitchers with every twist and turn during Wednesday's inspirational victory and series win over the visiting Padres.

The Diamondbacks jumped over San Diego and back into sole possession of first place in the National League West. Arizona also won the season series with the Padres, 10-8.

Montero homered in the fourth with two outs to give the Diamondbacks a 3-2 lead and later, homered in the seventh. In between and throughout, he made multiple visits to the mound to handle the pitching staff, especially with relievers Juan Cruz and Tony Pena, who at times, seemed almost irritated by the conversations.

Conor Jackson also homered and Chris Young hit a three-run double as the Diamondbacks chased Padres ace Jake Peavy after just four innings. The Padres' right-handed ace was pitching on three days' rest.

Peavy allowed a season-high eight earned runs and his four innings pitched was a season low.

NOTES, QUOTES

--3B Chad Tracy, on the disabled list with tendinitis in the right knee, looks to be a few days away from taking swings, according to general manager Josh Byrnes said. "Then, we can figure out a game plan" for his return, he said.

--LF Eric Byrnes stole two more bases on Wednesday, giving him 42 on the year. He has stolen 27 in a row without being caught.

--2B Orlando Hudson is the Diamondbacks' nominee for the 2007 Roberto Clemente Award, given annually to the player who combined outstanding skills on the field with devoted work in the community.

--1B Tony Clark was nominated by his teammates as Arizona's entry for the Marvin Miller Award, given to the player whose on-field performance and contributions to the community inspire others to higher levels of achievement.

--RHP Edgar Gonzalez, a starter-turned-reliever, might be the next pitcher to get a shot at the No. 5 starting job, although that spot in the rotation will be skipped until Tuesday because of an off-day. The Diamondbacks have tried several names in the No. 5 spot, including Yusmeiro Petit, Byung-Hyun Kim and Dana Eveland, who had the last crack at the job.

"Certainly, Edgar's a guy that we're looking at," manager Bob Melvin said. "Eveland and potentially Petit, too. But Edgar has definitely made a case for himself to be a guy that potentially starts that game."

--RHP Juan Cruz left Wednesday's game midway through his relief appearance against the Padres because of what the club described as tightness in his shoulder and neck.


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