The Arizona Republic
The Arizona Republic
SAN DIEGO – Brandon Webb pursed his lips and furrowed his eyebrows. He pounded his fist into his mitt. He clenched his teeth.
Webb, easygoing by nature, was a portrait of frustration on the Petco Park mound on Tuesday night, his anger palpable during a game that easily was his most important of the season, scoreless streak or not.
His reactions during a 6-4 loss to the San Diego Padres helped illustrate just how badly the Diamondbacks needed him to win, and how potentially damaging it was that he could not.
First, the Diamondbacks lost to the hard-charging Padres and their ace Monday night. Now, Arizona lost there with its ace.
“We beat a good pitcher today,” said San Diego outfielder Mike Cameron. “It’s going to take that down the stretch in order for us to approach the goal we need to get to, a chance to play in the postseason.”
That five-game NL West advantage the Diamondbacks had the morning of Aug. 19? It is now is a sliver of a lead.
With a win Wednesday, the Padres can draw even in the standings with the Diamondbacks. By the conclusion of this four-game series, it’s possible Arizona could no longer could be a first-place team.
They could only grudgingly accept their fate on Monday night, when the league’s leading Cy Young Award candidate, Jake Peavy, shut them down. But this time they came away with plenty to regret on a night when San Diego’s Justin Germano pitched six uneven innings yet secured a victory.
The Diamondbacks had a runner aboard in each of the first five innings, and seemingly had Germano on the ropes a handful of times. But they could manage with only single runs in the first, fourth and fifth innings.
Still, it looked like it might be enough for Webb, even on a night when his body language said it all. He was not at his best.
He was able to get by for five innings, holding tightly to a 3-2 lead. But it all unraveled in a four-run sixth.
Mike Cameron started it with a tying home run to left field. After a walk to Milton Bradley, Webb allowed consecutive singles to Adrian Gonzalez and Khalil Greene, whose base hit to center field gave the Padres a 4-3 lead.
Webb then fielded a Kevin Kouzmanoff bunt and turned toward third base, where he appeared to have a play. Instead, he turned and threw to first base, where first base umpire Lance Barksdale ruled that Orlando Hudson’s foot was not on the bag, a call that Diamondbacks managed Bob Melvin disputed. Melvin was ejected, his second in the past five games.
Josh Bard followed with an RBI single and, two batters later, Webb hit pinch-hitter Rob Mackowiak with a pitch, forcing in San Diego’s fourth run of the inning.
> Box score, Page 3C
Arizona (Owings 6-7) at San Diego (Maddux 10-9), 7:05 p.m. Wednesday. Radio: 1490-AM