Haren, Webb share ability to get hitters out
TUCSON, Ariz. -- As history shows, 1-2 pitching duos have different ways to bond. In 1966, Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale found a common purpose in their quest to squeeze a few extra bucks out of Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley. For years in Atlanta, Tom Glavine, Greg Maddux and John Smoltz strengthened their ties over tee shots and a cold beer at the clubhouse tavern.
If you want to call it feeding off each other, pushing each other or whatever, there always becomes a sort of friendly competition. If you're a competitor and a guy on your team is doing well, you want to up the ante a little bit.
--Arizona manager Bob Melvin, about Brandon Webb and Dan Haren
"We all talked about how amazing it was," Haren said. "I've never thrown a complete-game shutout in my whole career, and he had three in a row."This is, amazingly, correct. In 121 career starts, Haren has five complete games and no shutouts. Complete games or not, Webb and Haren should take a lot of pressure off the bullpen. Last year Webb threw 236 1/3 innings in the regular season and 13 more in the playoffs. Most nights, he took the mound knowing he had to throw seven or eight innings because the relievers were taxed. "I felt like I threw a million [innings]," Webb said. Webb has a new playmate now, and they'll help test the theory that good pitching, like hitting, is contagious. "If you want to call it feeding off each other, pushing each other or whatever, there always becomes a sort of friendly competition," Melvin said. "If you're a competitor and a guy on your team is doing well, you want to up the ante a little bit." The Diamondbacks have made it clear they like their chances. Now it's time to stop the talking and just go pitch. Jerry Crasnick covers baseball for ESPN.com. His book "License To Deal" was published by Rodale. Click here to order a copy. Jerry can be reached via e-mail.