The Arizona Diamondbacks are in first-place 4.5 ahead of the Padres and 7 in front of the Dodgers. Although they have allowed 22 more runs than theyâ€™ve scored, thereâ€™s one guy who has not allowed opponents to scoreâ€”Brandon Webb. His latest victims were the Eastâ€™s third-place team, the Atlanta Braves. Webb (13-8) tossed his third- straight shutout, striking out six, giving up only two hits and walking one.
He now has the 12th longest scoreless inning streak in MLB history. He needs 18 more innings to tie the record-holder, Orel Hershiserâ€™s mark of 59 innings. Webb, who has an ERA of 2.63 and is second in the NL in strikeouts with 161, knows that itâ€™s no easy task.
The day after Webbâ€™s shutout, Arizona beat Atlanta again, giving the D-backs four victories in a row.
The Braves, a team thatâ€™s lost three straight, continues to fall behind the East division leading Mets. Hereâ€™s how things are going for the Diamondbacks, tonight rookie pitcher Micah Owings got his sixth win of the season as he knocked two homers and drove in six runs! The final score was 12- 6.
Although Arizona has the sixth best pitching staff in the league, itâ€™s really been Brandon Webbâ€™s show. Overall, the rotation is okay but not great. But the Diamondbacks have closer Jose Valverde who leads the league with 37 saves. Opposing batters are hitting .178 against him and he has 60 Kâ€™s against 20 BB. His ERA is 2.86. So, if the Backs can get to the ninth with the lead, they are tough to beat.
The D-backs now sport the best record in the NL and are 8- 2 over their last 10. The Padres, Dodgers and Rockies have all gone 5- 5 in that same period. And that means in 10 games, Arizona has gained three over the three clubs that have a chance to also take the West.
I never thought this would happen with Randy Johnson on the DL!