07/16/08 2:49 AM ET
Neither Webb nor Haren allow run
D-backs right-handers combine for three scoreless innings
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
After all, the right-hander was all but certain not to pitch given that he had thrown 108 pitches Sunday in the D-backs' loss to the Phillies.
But as Tuesday turned into Wednesday and the 79th Midsummer Classic entered extra innings, Webb looked at the pitchers the National League had left down in the bullpen and decided he'd better change out of his turf shoes and into his spikes. You know, just in case.
Finally, in the 11th, he approached NL manager Clint Hurdle.
"I said, 'How we looking?'" Webb said. "He said, 'Well.' He's looking around and I said, 'If you need a pitcher, you need a pitcher.' And he said, 'I think that's what it's getting ready to come down to.'"
"Class act," Hurdle said of Webb offering to pitch.
So Webb headed down to the bullpen, still not expecting to get in the game.
"I'm getting a little tired standing around, didn't know how many [Carlos] Marmol would go. Then they're like, 'Get ready as soon as possible.'"
Webb, a starter by trade, went into hurryup mode.
"Didn't even stretch, nothing," Webb said in comments that will certainly make D-backs officials cringe. "Gave it a couple of windmills with my arm, a little trunk rotation and then right on the mound ... probably 15 warmup pitches. The adrenaline takes over pretty much and it doesn't take too much to get loose. I felt I was ready."
It sure looked that way as Webb retired all three batters he faced in the 14th inning. Webb got Carlos Guillen to line out to short before striking out Grady Sizemore and Evan Longoria swinging.
In all, Webb threw 13 pitches, eight for strikes. Combined with his 15 warmup pitches, he threw right around how many he might have thrown in a normal between-start side session.
"Obviously a little more intensity than in a side, but I think it all went very well," Webb said.
Meanwhile, teammate Dan Haren's night went more as planned. The right-hander worked the fifth and sixth innings and allowed a pair of hits and a walk while striking out two.
"It's a little different warming up in the bullpen," Haren said of pitching in relief. "I probably threw about 40 or 50 pitches just to make sure I was loose. During the season it takes me a little while to get going. Usually I start feeling good around the third or fourth inning, but obviously this was a different situation ... I felt good when I was out there."
After the game, however, Haren was ready to head home.
"I think everyone here is absolutely exhausted," he said. "It was an emotionally, high intense game. A couple of lead changes, a couple of big hits, good pitching, great defense. It's been a blast, but I'm worn out. I'm looking forward to getting back home and sleeping for a bit."
Haren and Webb were told they didn't have to be at the D-backs' workout Thursday.
The pair got an unexpected treat Monday night when Josh Hamilton put on a power display for the ages during the State Farm Home Run Derby. The Rangers outfielder hit a record 28 homers in the first round, including some moon shots.
"It was amazing," Haren said. "Just the fans chanting his name was really cool. Webby and I had great seats; we were sitting all the way at the far end of the dugout closest to home plate, so we had a great view of the balls going out. It was just a tremendous display of power. The ball was coming off his bat like nothing I've ever seen before."
The D-backs could use some offense like that. After a red hot start at the plate which led to a 20-8 record in April, the D-backs have fallen to one game below .500, though they still lead the NL West by one game.
"I don't think anyone expected us to come out that hot, not even ourselves," Webb said. "We were scoring tons of runs and pitching in those games was easy. Everything just kind of dropped off the table after that, and it's been a struggle ever since.
"Hopefully we can start the second half the way we did the first half."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.