Brandon Webb is beginning to flash the dominance that helped him win last season’s NL Cy Young Award. The Arizona Diamondbacks will need that to post their first home win over the New York Mets in nearly three years.
Webb will try to snap Arizona’s 12-game home losing streak against New York when teams resume their four-game set on Saturday night.
The Diamondbacks’ (16-15) woes at Chase Field against the Mets (18-10) continued with a 5-3 loss on Friday. Arizona hasn’t beaten New York at home since May 11, 2004.
The latest defeat also was Arizona’s fourth in a row, all since Webb (2-1, 3.21 ERA) last started.
But Webb hardly resembled a reigning Cy Young winner at the start of the season, as he allowed 11 runs, 23 hits and 10 walks in 19 innings over his first three starts. His past three outings have been a complete turnaround—the right-hander has given up five runs, 17 hits and six walks in 23 innings, while going 1-0.
Webb yielded a run and four hits in seven innings of a 9-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday.
“I’m feeling better than I did in my first few outings, and I feel like I’m where I need to be right now,” he said. “With the guys we have in the rotation and in the bullpen, the pressure’s totally off me.”
Webb has pitched well in his career against the Mets, but that hasn’t converted to many wins. He is 1-5 with a 1.99 ERA in seven career starts against New York.
On Friday, the Diamondbacks’ Orlando Hudson homered in his second straight game on Friday, and has reached base safely in all 31 games this season. He’s batting .375 (12-for-32) with eight RBIs during a season-high eight-game hitting streak.
New York’s Jose Reyes also extended his hitting streak to a season high nine games by going 3-for-4 on Friday. He’s batting .425 (17-for-40) during the run, and leads the Mets with 44 hits.
New York, which is tied for first in the NL East with Atlanta, has won three straight and is a major-league best 11-3 on the road.
Sosa was 3-11 with a 5.42 ERA in 45 games -13 starts - last season for Atlanta and St. Louis, but has had an outstanding start this season for Triple-A New Orleans. The right-hander was 4-0 with a 1.13 ERA in five starts, striking out 29 in 32 innings.
“We know he can pitch in this league,” manager Willie Randolph told the team’s official Web site. “It’s no secret he has major league stuff.”
Sosa gave up 11 runs and 17 hits in 8 2-3 innings in three appearances - one start - against Arizona last season. He’s 0-3 with a 6.65 ERA in six games, including three career starts, against the Diamondbacks.