If only. That's the phrase on a lot of D-Backs' fans minds as the painful first month of the 2009 season nears its close.
If only Brandon Webb wasn't going to be out for at least six more weeks. If only Arizona could manufacture a consistent stream of runs per game. If only hard-luck loser Dan Haren could have received more offensive support.
Luckily, this last "if only" was irrelevant Monday night when Haren and the D-Backs took down the Chicago Cubs 7-2. Pitching like a man in a pissed off, eff-everything-in-the-world mood -- especially after giving up a titanic dong to leadoff man Alfonso Soriano in the first -- the crafty right-hander dealt a complete-game three-hitter that included 10 strikeouts and no walks.
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Haren (2-3), whose ERA now stands at a mind-numbing 1.54, also helped his cause at the plate by doubling home two runs in the fourth inning. The rest of the offense, who received production from Chris Snyder (the catcher crushed his first homer of the season and drew two free passes to first base) and center fielder Chris Young (2 RBI), finally did something for once. In Haren's four previous starts, the O had only managed three stinking runs, so seven runs in one contest was huge.
Following Sunday's dramatic come-from-behind victory against the San Francisco Giants and last night's mastery of the Cubs, Arizona has a two-game win streak . . . its first of the season.
The 8-11 Diamondbacks take on the 9-9 Cubs once again at 6:40 p.m. tonight at Chase Field. The scheduled starters are both righties: Arizona's Yusmeiro Petit (0-1, 6.00) versus Chicago's Carlos Zambrano (1-1, 4.85). TV: FSN-AZ. Radio: KTAR-AM 620.