PHOENIX (AP)—Brandon Webb needed only two pitches to shut down the second-best hitting team in the National League.
Webb threw 95 pitches, 89 of which were either fastballs or sinkers, in a one-hitter for his third shutout of the season to lead the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 3-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night.
“It ended up working tonight, it felt good,” said Webb (15-6), who did not allow a runner past second base and got 16 ground ball outs for his second win since Aug. 17. It was also his fourth complete game of the season and fourth career shutout.
“I was pretty aggressive in the strike zone as they were swinging the bat,” Webb said. “They put the ball in play early, mostly on the ground. That worked to my favor tonight. I was able to keep the ball down so they could do so.”
Manager Bob Melvin said Webb threw just six off-speed pitches en route to his first one-hitter. He struck out five and didn’t walk a batter.
“It was unbelieveable,” Melvin said. “He had a great sinker going, keeping the balls on the ground, a couple hit in the air. That’s about as good as you get right there, especially that club.”
The game lasted 1 hour, 54 minutes, and was the Diamondbacks’ second straight win and third in 11 games.
“When a guy is throwing like Webb is, you take strike one, then he works you over,” St. Louis manager Tony La Russa said. “So like guys like (Greg) Maddox and Webb—when they’re right—present a lot of problems. You swing early and you make an out, look what happens when you get strike one, he puts you away. You have to give him a lot of credit.”
“Everybody’s trying hard,” Ronnie Belliard said. “We all planned to hit the ball hard. But they were making plays or it was hit right at people. You are not Superman and keep swinging the bat.”
Jason Marquis (14-14) allowed six hits in seven innings, but three of those were for extra bases that led to single runs in the first, second and fourth innings.
Craig Counsell hit the second pitch of the bottom of the first into the right-center field gap, snapping an 0-for-22 slump. He scored one batter later on Luis Gonzalez’s grounder to first baseman Albert Pujols.
In the second, Carlos Quentin hit his seventh home run of the season, a 394-foot shot to left center. In the fourth, Chris Snyder singled in Conor Jackson, who had doubled, to give Arizona a 3-0 lead.
“It’s the luck of the draw,” Marquis said. “(Sometimes) it’s not how you pitch it’s the night you pitch.”
Webb retired the first eight hitters, before allowing Marquis to reach when his comebacker glanced off first baseman Jackson’s glove for an error.
“I always think we are capable of putting something on the board no matter how good a guy pitches,” La Russa said.
Pujols reached on an error in the fourth when third baseman Chad Tracy dropped his grounder and then threw just wide at first, pulling Jackson off the bag. However, Webb picked off Pujols, who was tagged out by second baseman Orlando Hudson. Scott Rolen followed with a double to center, before Webb struck out Preston Wilson to end the inning.
The game was the fastest played in Chase Field history. … The Diamondbacks are 5-16 over their last 21 games. … St. Louis is 4-5 in September. … The roof was open for the second night in a row with temperatures in the 70s. The roof hadn’t been open since June 10 until Friday night.