BEST HOPE FOR THE D-BACKS' FUTURE - 2007
Amazingly, the Diamondbacks were up for most of the season this year. And, at this writing, were sitting in first place in the National League West. One of the reasons for success is pitcher Brandon Webb, who won the 2006 Cy Young Award with a 16-8 record and 3.20 ERA in 33 starts. This means an Arizona Diamondback was the best pitcher in the National League last year, and his record is slightly better this season. He became the second Diamondbacks pitcher to win the award. (In his prime, Randy Johnson won four consecutive NL Cy Youngs from 1999-2002.) In a game we watched on the last day of July, Webb was marvelous in shutting out the San Diego Padres 4-0. He tossed seven scoreless innings and had command of his signature sinker ball, which had given him trouble with left-handed hitters this season, but was the key to his dominance in '06. A host of young players Chris Young, Eric Byrnes, promising rookie Mark Reynolds helped the Diamondbacks gain success this year, but right-hander Webb was king of the hill. If the D-Backs return to the stature they held when they won the World Series in 2001, Webb will be a major reason.