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Dodgers-Diamondbacks Preview 2008-08-31

Dodgers-Diamondbacks Preview 2008-08-31
Brandon Webb stumbled in his first attempt to become the majors' first 20-game winner. Facing the Los Angeles Dodgers might help him reach that coveted mark.

The ace right-hander again tries to become the first NL pitcher to win 20 games since 2005 when the first-place Diamondbacks host Manny Ramirez and the Dodgers in the deciding game of their series Sunday night.

Trying to win a ninth consecutive decision his last time out, Webb (19-5, 2.96 ERA) allowed six runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings of a 9-2 loss at San Diego on Tuesday. It was the fourth time in 28 starts he didn't go at least six innings.

"Pretty much from the get-go I didn't have my good stuff," Webb said. "I couldn't get ahead. My curveball and changeup weren't really there.

"Right when I got out there, I knew something wasn't right. I was struggling to get ahead. It was just brutal."

While Josh Beckett won 20 games for Boston last season, Webb is on the verge of becoming the first NL pitcher to accomplish that feat since 2005 when Dontrelle Willis won 22 for Florida and St. Louis' Chris Carpenter recorded 21 victories.

Taking the mound against Los Angeles (66-70) should give the right-hander a good chance to do it. Webb is 10-3 with a 2.54 ERA in 16 starts versus the Dodgers, including 8-0 with a 1.19 ERA in nine outings against them over the last four seasons. He is 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA in two starts against Los Angeles in 2008.

Los Angeles (66-70), though, did snap an eight-game losing streak with a 6-2 victory Saturday to move within 3 1/2 games of the NL West-leading Diamondbacks, who have lost six of eight.

"For us, every day is a big game," said Ramirez, who went 4-for-5 with two home runs Saturday.

Ramirez is batting .419 with nine home runs and 25 RBIs in 28 games since being traded from Boston to the Dodgers, who are 1-8 on a 10-game road trip. He is hitting .541 (20-for-37) with four home runs and eight RBIs in 10 career games versus Arizona.

"He's pretty remarkable," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said of Ramirez, whom he often faced while managing the New York Yankees. "But again, I've watched this for a number of years, he's one of the best right-hand hitters that has played the game in my lifetime. He doesn't give an at-bat away."

Los Angeles' Derek Lowe (10-11, 3.81) tries to bounce back from a tough loss after allowing two runs and six hits while striking out six in eight innings of a 2-1 defeat at Washington on Tuesday.

"So even though, yeah, I went deep into the game, I still look at it as a disappointing start because you know that your job is, sometimes, the starting pitcher has to pick up the offense and vice versa," Lowe told the Dodgers' official Web site.

The right-hander is 4-7 with a 4.31 ERA in 15 starts versus the Diamondbacks and 1-1 in three outings against them this year.

Chris Young had three hits and two RBIs on Saturday for Arizona. He's hitting .245 on the season, but is 7-for-13 with two doubles and a triple in his last three contests. Young, though, is 2-for-17 with eight strikeouts versus Lowe.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: August 31, 2008

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