for this game

Webb outduels Zambrano, Reynolds homers as D-Backs strike first

Oct 4, 2007 - 6:54 AM PHOENIX (Ticker) -- The Arizona Diamondbacks knew what to expect from Brandon Webb. But it was a rookie who provided the magic.

Mark Reynolds hit a go-ahead homer in the seventh inning and Webb pitched seven strong frames to outlast Carlos Zambrano and lift the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 3-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs in the first game of the best-of-five National League Division Series on Wednesday.

Stephen Drew, a 24-year-old in his first full season, also homered for the Diamondbacks, who host Game Two on Thursday.

"It is always nice to get the first one," Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "You have your ace on the mound you expect to win that game especially at home. It's a game that there was probably a little more pressure on us to win than them. We're at home we have Webby on the mound it can be a little deflating if you ace goes out there and loses the first one at home."

Offense was a concern for Arizona (90-72), which became the first team since the 1906 Chicago White Sox to have the best record in the league despite the worst batting average (.250), but they found just enough against the Cubs' bullpen.

The 24-year-old Reynolds, who started the season in Class AA, snapped a 1-1 tie when he deposited a 2-1 fastball right down the middle of the plate from Carlos Marmol (0-1) into the left-center field seats for a 2-1 lead.

"I am usually at home watching TV at this time," Reynolds said. "It is an unbelievable feeling being here and being part of this. I hope to keep the magic going."

"It's always nice to be able to get a couple off (Marmol), for the most part he has been unhittable," Melvin said. "His numbers are video game numbers with the strikeouts."

It was the 18th home run in the majors this year for Reynolds, who joined the team in mid-May when regular third baseman Chad Tracy got hurt. The homer helped atone for his two-base throwing error two frames earlier.

"Good to see him put that throwing error behind him," Melvin said. "We've seen enough of Mark over the season to know he's just going to play his game. He played flawless all season."

Arizona scratched out another run against Marmol, the electric reliever who entered having yielded just two runs in his last 25 innings and

"I didn't make good pitches," Marmol said. "I have been decent all year long. I don't know what is going on. My mechanics are a little different. This is one day. One day you do good and one day you do bad. This was a day I did bad."

"I took a shot with our bullpen, it didn't work today," a testy Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "They did a good job all year, they didn't get it done today, end of story, period."

After Reynolds' blast, Chris Snyder drew a walk and advanced to third when former Cub Augie Ojeda lined a double into the right field corner. Conor Jackson then hit for Webb and lifted a sacrifice fly to medium center field for a 3-1 lead.

The game between the fellow 18-game winners was scoreless until Drew led off the fourth inning by blasting a 1-0 fastball 432 feet into the right-center field seats.

"The first time up against him was the first time I ever faced him," Drew said. "Coming into the second at-bat I felt little more relaxed. I just tried to get on base and let the big guys do their job."

Drew had another big homer against the Cubs, an eighth-inning blast off Bobby Howry on July 21 that started a streak of 21 wins in 28 games and vaulted the Diamondbacks from third to first in the National League West.

Webb (1-0), who posted a franchise-record 42 consecutive scoreless innings during the season, bent but didn't break until the sixth.

The longest tenured active D-Back at five years, Webb yielded a leadoff line single to left by Derrek Lee, who advanced to second base on a wild pitch when Aramis Ramirez struck out.

After another out, walks to Mark DeRosa and Geovany Soto loaded the bases for rookie Ryan Theriot, who bounced Webb's sinker over the head of Reynolds at third, allowing Lee to score and tie the game at 1-1. But Webb struck out Zambrano to avoid further damage.

"We had some good at-bats, just didn't take advantage," Piniella said. "We hit a few balls hard. What are you going to do. It's the only the first game. Let's not get down."

Webb tossed his only perfect inning in the seventh before departing. The righthander allowed four hits and three walks with nine strikeouts and allowed baserunners in each of the first six frames.

"Very exciting, the most exciting game I've pitched so far (in my career)," Webb said.

"He's always one pitch away," Melvin said. "He had good secondary stuff tonight. He lost his command for a few batters, but regained it. He had a good sinker and knows how to use his breaking ball."

Webb surrendered a leadoff double to Zambrano in the third but struck out the next three hitters. He also worked around a leadoff two-base throwing error by Reynolds in the fifth.

"My offspeed pitches were as good as I've had them probably this year, a lot of good changeups and curve balls," Webb said. "For some of the big hitters I was just trying to execute pitches and get ahead, and I was able to do that. That's where the big outs came from especially the leadoff double to Zambrano in the third. I was able to strike out the side and used a lot of offspeed pitches to get strikeouts."

Brandon Lyon tossed a perfect eighth and closer Jose Valverde worked around a two-out walk to log the save. Valverde led the majors with 47 this season.

Zambrano, who finished the campaign with 13 scoreless innings in winning his last two regular-season starts, was almost as good against the Diamondbacks.

The emotional righthander yielded just a leadoff single in the first to Chris Young and a second-inning walk to Jeff Salazar before Drew got him in the fourth. He retired eight of the next 10 batters and departed after six innings, yielding a run, four hits and a walk with eight strikeouts.

"(Piniella) told me that, that was enough and he took me out," Zambrano said. "I wasn't surprised. I tried to talk him out of it, I told him to let me pitch one more inning. He told me that was enough and he is the manager.

"You know me. I want to pitch every game 120 pitches. But it is better like this because now I will pitch on Sunday. We have a good bullpen so let the bullpen do their job." After the game, Piniella announced that Zambrano would pitch Sunday in Game Four on three days rest.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    CHICAGO CUBS 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 4 0
    ARIZONA 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 0 x 3 6 1 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: CHN - CARLOS ZAMBRANO, CARLOS MARMOL (7TH), BOBBY HOWRY (8TH) AND
    GEOVANY SOTO
    ARI - BRANDON WEBB, BRANDON LYON (8TH), JOSE VALVERDE
    (9TH) AND CHRIS SNYDER

    HOME

    Oct 4 12:40 AM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA PLAYOFFS - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY CONOR JACKSON SCORED CHRIS SNYDER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A OJEDA ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1
    ARIZONA 3 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: C YOUNG (.333, 1-FOR-3)

    Cubs vs. DiamondbacksOct 4 12:10 AM
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    Cubs vs. DiamondbacksOct 4 12:04 AM


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    AT ARIZONA PLAYOFFS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MARK REYNOLDS (1) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 7TH OFF CARLOS MARMOL.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1, ARIZONA 2
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: J SALAZAR (.000, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Cubs vs. DiamondbacksOct 4 12:01 AM
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    Cubs vs. DiamondbacksOct 3 11:56 PM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA PLAYOFFS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN THERIOT SCORED DERREK LEE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R THERIOT ON FIRST, G SOTO ON SECOND, M
    DEROSA ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 1
    ARIZONA 1 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR CHICAGO CUBS: C ZAMBRANO (.500, 1-FOR-2)

    Cubs vs. DiamondbacksOct 3 11:38 PM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA PLAYOFFS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY STEPHEN DREW (1) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 0
    OUT IN THE 4TH OFF CARLOS ZAMBRANO.
    CURRENT SCORE: CHICAGO CUBS 0, ARIZONA 1
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: E BYRNES (.000, 0-FOR-1)

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