A career high for victories didn’t earn Brandon Webb a second straight NL Cy Young Award last season. It might be good enough this year.
The Arizona ace tries for his major league-leading and personal-best 19th win as the first-place Diamondbacks look to sweep their home series from the lowly San Diego Padres on Thursday night.
Webb (18-4, 2.85 ERA) won 18 games and posted a 3.01 ERA in 2007, but his 10 losses prevented him from winning consecutive Cy Young Awards. After allowing two runs and four hits over eight innings in a 12-2 win to help snap Houston’s eight-game winning streak Friday, Webb looks for a sixth straight victory to remain the winningest pitcher in the majors this year.
“He’s had some great games this year, but I think at a certain point in time, that was the best sinker we’ve seen all year,” manager Bob Melvin told the Diamondbacks’ official Web site of Webb’s last outing.
The right-hander, who is 7-0 with a 2.28 ERA in his last 10 starts since losing at Minnesota on June 22, went 16-8 with a 3.10 ERA when he won the award in the 2006 and because of that sinker, appears to be the front runner to win this season.
“He may be the only starter in the game that could literally throw one pitch and win 20 games every year,” Houston’s Lance Berkman told the club’s official Web site.
Though Webb is 5-7 with a 3.61 ERA in 20 career starts versus San Diego, he allowed an unearned run and five hits in six innings of a 2-1 road victory over the Padres on April 27.
Webb looks to help the Diamondbacks (66-60), who hold a two-game lead over Los Angeles in the NL West, to a fifth consecutive victory over San Diego after winning 8-6 on Wednesday.
“You don’t really expect to score a lot of runs against one of the game’s best pitchers,” said Dunn, who has an NL-leading 34 home runs.
Dunn is hitting .308 (8-for-26) with two homers and eight RBIs in eight games since being traded to Arizona from Cincinnati. He is 12-for-29 with five home runs and 13 RBIs in nine contests versus San Diego this season.
Snyder, meanwhile, has three home runs and eight RBIs in his last five games overall.
Chad Reineke (1-0, 5.40) tries to build off a successful major league debut as he takes the mound for the Padres. The 26-year-old right-hander allowed three runs, five hits and had an RBI single in five innings of an 8-3 win over Philadelphia on Saturday.
“To be honest, you kind of think about all the bad things that could happen to you,” Reineke said of preparing for his debut. “I’m happy I was able to get a win.”
Jody Gerut homered and had three hits, while Kevin Kouzmanoff hit is 19th home run Wednesday for the Padres (48-78), who have lost three in a row and six of eight. Gerut is 8-for-12 with four RBIs in his last four games, while Kouzmanoff is 6-for-17 during the same span.