Webb Seeks Good Start

The worst start of Brandon Webb's Cy Young Award-winning year came against the San Diego Padres on the last day of the regular season.

Webb seeks a better outing Wednesday when he takes the mound for the Arizona Diamondbacks against the Padres in the opener of a two-game set at Petco Park.

Oddsmakers have made Arizona -1.5 point spread favorites (MLB Odds) for todays game, the over/under has been set at 10ev total runs (View MLB Sports Books). Our public betting information shows that 78% of bets for this game have been placed on Arizona -1.5 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

Last year, Webb (1-1, 5.21 ERA) went 16-8 with a 3.10 ERA and 178 strikeouts on his way to winning the prestigious award in his fourth major league season. However, he allowed seven runs and eight hits over a season-low four innings in his final start, a 7-6 home loss to San Diego on Oct. 1.

The right-hander has not been sharp against the Padres throughout his career, going 3-5 with a 4.01 ERA in 14 starts. He is 1-3 with a 3.79 ERA in six starts at San Diego.

Webb suffered his first loss of the season last Friday, when he allowed five runs in seven innings of a 6-3 defeat to Colorado.

"It wasn't a great outing and it wasn't horrific by any stretch, but with 'Webby' sometimes the standards are set a little higher after what he has accomplished,'' Arizona manager Bob Melvin said.

Webb is now looking to help Arizona (9-6) avoid a third straight loss overall.

Conor Jackson, Carlos Quentin and Alberto Callaspo each had two hits Tuesday, but the Diamondbacks fell 6-4 to Los Angeles and Arizona slipped to 1 1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West.

Quentin, a 24-year-old right fielder who played in 57 games in 2006, opened this season on the disabled list with a slight tear in his left labrum, but is 4-for-7 with three doubles in two games since returning.

Arizona second baseman Orlando Hudson went 1-for-2 with two walks and an RBI on Tuesday to raise his average to .393. He has reached base safely in all 15 games this season.

San Diego (8-6) will look for a third straight win over the Diamondbacks after taking three of four in Arizona to close out the 2006 season.

David Wells (0-1, 7.00) picked up one of those wins, pitching six innings of a 3-1 San Diego victory on Sept. 30. The 43-year-old left-hander wasn't nearly as good in his most recent outing, allowing five runs and eight hits in just 2 1-3 innings of the Padres' 9-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday.

If Wells falters again Wednesday, the Padres will turn to a bullpen which is 4-0 with a 1.83 ERA this season. San Diego relievers were stellar again on Tuesday, pitching nine two-hit, scoreless innings en route to a 4-3, 14-inning win over the Chicago Cubs.

Geoff Blum had an RBI double in the top of the 14th and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez went 4-for-7 with an RBI for San Diego, which bounced back after a 12-4 loss on Monday.

"This team has shown a great deal of resiliency so far, early in the year, an ability to hang in there,'' Padres manager Bud Black said. "The pitching keeps us close and we get some hitting at the end of the game."

Gonzalez could be in for another big game Wednesday against Webb. He is 6-for-14 with a homer and three RBIs against the Arizona sinkerballer.

by: Michael Cash - thespread.com – Email Us

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