Brandon Webb will look to add another bullet point to his Cy Young résumé in his final start of the season today, and remains amenable to resuming discussions on a long-term contract.
“I’m thinking it will help me,” Webb said. “If I can separate myself a little bit now, it will be a plus.”
Webb (22-7) has five more victories than any other starter in the league, including San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum, the other top candidate for the Cy Young. Both are in the top 10 in ERA and the top five in innings pitched.
“Brandon has a lot to pitch for,” manager Bob Melvin said.
“He’s had a heck of a season, and one more victory can look pretty good. I’m sure he wants 23 pretty bad. The discrepancy in wins, for me, that’s big.”
The sides had agreed on a new deal when the D-Backs pulled it off the table in Pittsburgh, and Webb said, “I have zero percent knowledge” of a possible return to talks.
“We’ll finish out the year, and if they feel they want to come back and talk, I’ll be there.”
Asked if he thought about skipping his final start at the end of a long season, Webb said, “If I wasn’t pitching for anything, I would think about it.”
Webb will make his 34th start, the fifth season in a row he has started at least 33 games, although his workload this season has been lighter than in recent seasons.
He has pitched 219 2/3 innings after averaging 233 innings the last three years, with an NL high 236 1/3 last year.
HAREN REACHES 200 STRIKEOUTS
Dan Haren extended his season-best strikeout total 206 with nine more Friday, although he had to settle for a no-decision when the Diamondbacks rallied late for a 6-4 victory over Colorado.
Haren became the third player in the NL to reach 200 and is tied with Cincinnati’s Edinson Volquez for second in the league.
“I really didn’t get off to a good start” in strikeouts, Haren said. “My stuff got better as we went along. It’s nice to get that many. I still feel I can improve.”
Haren also set a career high in victories despite getting only 33 starts, one fewer than in each of his three seasons with Oakland from 2005-07.
MONTERO TO THIRD?
With a defense that finished in the lower half of the NL this season, the D-Backs may experiment with combinations that include Miguel Montero at third base and Mark Reynolds at second base next spring, general manager Josh Byrnes said
Montero, who had two doubles to give him 16 in 182 at-bats this season, has taken ground balls at third base the last month, but does not seem eager to change.
“I’m a catcher. I don’t want to lose my value as a catcher,” Montero said.
“I think I can be an everyday catcher at some point in my career. I don’t want to be a utility guy. I don’t really like that idea. I need the at-bats.
“Obviously, I’m going to do whatever they want me to do. I’m here for them.”
Chris Young (knee) was in the original starting lineup but was scratched because of what Melvin called puffiness in his knee. Young ran into the center field wall while making a catch in St. Louis on Wednesday.
“It just puffed up. In a different situation, he can play,” Melvin said.
Melvin on elimination, the day after: “It sucks.”
“The stretch when we lost a couple here (to Los Angeles Aug. 30-31), then lost three in Los Angeles and three in San Francisco. That flopped positions with the Dodgers.”