Brandon Webb had been absolutely unhittable since July 25th. In six games since then, he had tossed 48 innings, allowed just two runs and 28 hits and won all six decisions. That stretch included three complete game shutouts, and 42 consecutive scoreless innings. Last night, he finally looked human as the San Diego Padres roughed him up for six runs (all earned) on seven hits in just 5.1 innings, en route to a 6-4 victory. The win put the Padres just one game out of first place in the National League West and with two games left in this all important four game series, they could overtake the Diamondbacks with a sweep.
Webb was tossing a gem until the bottom of the sixth when, with a 3-2 lead, he hung a breaking ball that Mike Cameron deposited in the left field seats for his 18th home run on the year. The solo shot tied the game at 3-3. The night unraveled from there for the reigning NL Cy Young winner. Milton Bradley walked, Adrian Gonzalez singled to right, Khalil Greene singled to left scoring Bradley and giving the Padres a 4-3 lead.
Then Kevin Kouzmanoff laid down a bunt, but Webb fielded the ball and failed to get anyone out. Arizona manager Bob Melvin argued that Kouzmanoff was out at first and was promptly tossed from the game by first base umpire Lance Barksdale. Then, with the bases loaded Josh Bard singled in Gonzalez and after a Geoff Blum pop-out, Webb hit pinch-hitter Rob Mackowiak in the back on an 0-2 pitch, forcing in a run. That was the end of Webb’s night, as he left trailing 6-3. Brian Giles and Cameron would both strikeout against Webb’s replacement, Tony Pena.
The loss took Webb’s record to 14-9 and his ERA now sits at 2.83. It was Webb’s first loss since July 20th. Justin Germano threw six solid innings to earn the victory and move his record to 7-7. Trevor Hoffman set the D’Backs down in order in the ninth for his 35th save.
Tomorrow night’s starters:
Padres: Greg Maddux, 10-9 3.90 ERA
Diamondbacks: Micah Owings 6-7 4.69 ERA