Brandon Webb

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For the former U.S. Navy SEAL and author, see Brandon Webb (author).
Brandon Webb
Brandon Webb bunting.jpg
Tenure with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Pitcher
Born: (1979-05-09) May 9, 1979 (age 35)
Ashland, Kentucky
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 22, 2003 for the Arizona Diamondbacks
Last MLB appearance
April 6, 2009 for the Arizona Diamondbacks
Career statistics
Win–loss record 87–62
Earned run average 3.27
Strikeouts 1,065
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Brandon Tyler Webb (born May 9, 1979) is an American former professional baseball player. A pitcher, Webb pitched in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Arizona Diamondbacks from 2003 through 2009. Prior to playing professionally, Webb attended the University of Kentucky, where he played college baseball for the Kentucky Wildcats baseball team.

Webb won the 2006 National League Cy Young Award. He is also a three-time MLB All-Star. A series of shoulder injuries sidelined him for much of 2009-2012 and after several aborted comeback attempts, he retired in 2013.

High school[edit]

Webb attended Paul G. Blazer High School in Ashland, Kentucky, and graduated in 1997.

College[edit]

Webb attended the University of Kentucky, where he played for the Kentucky Wildcats baseball team.

Professional career[edit]

Arizona Diamondbacks[edit]

Webb was drafted by the Diamondbacks in the 8th round of the 2000 Major League Baseball Draft. He made his first major league appearance with the Diamondbacks on April 22, 2003 against the Expos.[1] Webb wound up finishing the season with 28 starts and a 10–9 record. He was honored with Baseball America Rookie of the Year Award and placed third in the Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award voting in the National League.

Webb was made the #2 starter after the team traded Curt Schilling in the offseason. He finished the 2004 season with a 7–16 record, leading the league in losses, walks and wild pitches in a league high 35 starts. Through 35 starts, he had an ERA of 3.59 for the D'Backs.(The Diamondbacks won only 51 games the whole year.)

In 2005, he posted a 14–12 record and an ERA of 3.54. He led the team in ERA (3.54), innings pitched (229) and wild pitches (14). After the season, he signed a four-year contract extension worth a guaranteed $19.5 million and a team option for 2010.[2]

Through his first 13 starts of the 2006 season, Webb had a perfect 8–0 record. Through that streak, he also had a 30 inning scoreless streak.[3] He suffered his first losing effort of the season on June 10, in a 5–0 loss to the New York Mets.[4] An early contender to win the National League Cy Young Award, Webb pitched in the 2006 MLB All-Star Game, recording one hitless inning.

Webb struggled in the second half of the season in part due to elbow soreness. Webb did score a win in an emotional outing versus the San Diego Padres on August 28, pitching seven effective innings. The win came a day after close friend and former UK teammate Jon Hooker and his new bride were among the victims of the doomed Comair Flight 5191 leaving Lexington.[5]

Webb went on to finish the 2006 season with a record of 16–8 and an earned run average of 3.10, and was recognized with the NL Cy Young Award. His 16 wins tied five other pitchers for the most victories in the National League. Webb's win total marked the lowest for a starting pitcher who won the Cy Young in a full season.[6] His 3.10 ERA was the fourth best in the majors.

Webb on the field

As of the conclusion of his start on August 17, 2007, Webb had logged an Arizona Diamondbacks franchise record with 42.0 scoreless innings including three straight complete game shutouts.[7] This is the twelfth longest such streak in major league history, and the sixth longest since 1940, surpassed only by Orel Hershiser (59), Don Drysdale (58), Bob Gibson (47), Sal Maglie (45) and R.A. Dickey (44 2/3).[7] His three consecutive complete game shutouts during the streak was the longest streak since Roger Clemens accomplished the same with Toronto in 1998. This streak came to an end when the Milwaukee Brewers scored in the first inning of his start on August 22, 2007.

Webb carried the D'backs rotation, leading the team as they nabbed the National League West crown. Webb finished with a record of 18-10 with a 3.01 ERA. Webb pitched the first game of the 2007 playoffs against the Chicago Cubs. Webb pitched 7 innings of 1 run ball, striking out 9 en route to a win.[8]

The Diamondbacks went on to sweep the Cubs but fell to the Rockies in the NLCS, Webb falling in the first game. Webb allowed 4 runs in 6 innings, taking the loss.[9]

The Diamondbacks were ultimately swept in the process, losing the series 0-4.

On May 15, 2008, Webb won his ninth game in as many starts. Webb became the first pitcher in the Majors to win his first nine starts of the season since Andy Hawkins won ten in his first ten starts in 1985.[10] Near the end of June, Webb was leading the major leagues in wins. He was 13–4 with an ERA of 3.21 and a WHIP of 1.13. He won his 13th game against the Nationals, winning 2-0 before the All star break.[11] He made the All-Star team and threw a scoreless 14th inning with two strikeouts at Yankee Stadium.

Up to mid August, Webb carried a 42 scoreless innings streak.[12] The streak ended against the Brewers on August 23rd in the first inning. The crowd gave two standing ovations.[13]

Webb finished the 2008 season with a career high 22 wins and just 7 losses. Despite leading the National League in wins, Webb finished second in the National League Cy Young voting to division rival Tim Lincecum. His 3.15 ground ball/fly ball ratio was the highest in the major leagues.[14]

In 2009 he was named #31 on the Sporting News' list of the 50 greatest current players in baseball.[15]

Webb pitched on opening day against the Colorado Rockies, but was limited to pitching just four innings. On April 7, 2009, he was placed on the disabled list with right shoulder bursitis. On August 3, 2009, Dr. Keith Meister of the Rangers performed surgery on his right shoulder, ending his 2009 season. Despite the injury, the Diamondbacks picked up Webb's $8.5 million option for 2010 after the 2009 season ended. Arizona would have had to pay a $2 million buyout if it had declined the option.[16] He spent the year rehabbing his injury and did not appear in any games in 2010.

Texas Rangers[edit]

Webb became a free agent at the conclusion of the season and on December 26, 2010 agreed to a one-year contract with the Texas Rangers.[17] Webb made his first appearance in a game in more than two years on May 30, 2011, pitching for Double-A Frisco. Over 3 1/3 innings, he allowed five runs on eight hits, struck out two, walked two and hit a batter.

On July 24, the Rangers announced Webb would undergo a second right rotator cuff surgery on August 1, 2011, that would sideline him until the start of the 2012 season.[18]

Retirement[edit]

Webb officially retired from Major League Baseball on February 4, 2013.[19][20] In May 2013, he filed a workers' compensation claim against the Texas Rangers for shoulder, neck, back, arm, and musculo-skeletal system injuries.[21]

Pitch repertoire[edit]

Webb was mainly known for his sinker. Along with Roy Halladay's and Chien-Ming Wang's, it had often been considered the best such pitch in baseball.[22] His sinker was thrown in the 87–91 mph range. He also threw a curveball (72–75) and changeup (77–80), and occasionally cutter against left-handed hitters.[23]

Webb's sinker had been very effective at getting ground balls. Webb owned one of the best ground ball/fly ball ratio in baseball, prior to his retirement, at more than 3.5:1.[24] His changeup was also useful for getting swinging strikes — it had a 55% whiff rate in the 2008 season.[23]

Personal[edit]

Brandon and his wife, Alicia, make their home in Ashland, Kentucky. He decided to stick close to home for college, attending the University of Kentucky in Lexington.[citation needed]

In December 2007, the City of Ashland renamed a section of Highway 60 the "Brandon Webb Highway" in honor of Webb.[25]

In 2005 Webb established Brandon Webb's K Foundation, a charity that aims to "improve the lives of critically and chronically ill children throughout Arizona by providing daily support and life changing experiences."[26]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://articles.mcall.com/2004-08-12/sports/3556744_1_san-diego-return-engagement-homer
  2. ^ "D-Backs ink Webb to extension Righty could be in an Arizona uniform through 2010". MLB.com. Retrieved August 8, 2008. 
  3. ^ http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1108679/index.htm
  4. ^ http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/games/2006-06-11-mets-diamondbacks_x.htm
  5. ^ http://www.dailyindependent.com/local/x1192746534/Couple-s-life-together-was-just-beginning
  6. ^ "Webb takes home NL Cy Young". MLB.com. Retrieved August 8, 2008. 
  7. ^ a b "Innings Pitched Records & Scoreless Innings Pitched Records". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved April 23, 2009. 
  8. ^ http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/playoffs/2007-10-04-cubs-dbacks-game1_N.htm
  9. ^ http://www.esquire.com/the-side/blog/baseballblog101207
  10. ^ "D-backs' Drew flirts with cycle to help Webb to rare 9–0start". ESPN.com. Retrieved November 9, 2008. 
  11. ^ http://www.wibw.com/sports/headlines/24106059.html
  12. ^ http://brain.phpbeast.com/network/therx.com/blog_brewersdbacks-capping-preview.php
  13. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/23/sports/baseball/23webb.html?_r=0
  14. ^ "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool - Player Card: Brandon Webb". FanGraphs.com. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ Webb has option picked up by Arizona, ESPN. Published November 6, 2009. Retrieved November 9, 2009.
  17. ^ http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp? ymd=20101226&content_id=16368886&vkey=news_tex&c_id=tex
  18. ^ http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110722&content_id=22142382&notebook_id=22158924&vkey=notebook_tex&c_id=tex
  19. ^ Gilbert, Steve (February 4, 2013). "Former NL Cy Young Award winner Webb retires". MLB.com. Retrieved February 4, 2013. 
  20. ^ Crasnick, Jerry (February 4, 2013). "Brandon Webb retires at 33". ESPN.com. Retrieved February 4, 2013. 
  21. ^ http://spreadsheets.latimes.com/workers-comp-mlb/popup/ADJ8901313.html
  22. ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/spring2007/columns/story?columnist=crasnick_jerry&id=2793207
  23. ^ a b "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool - Player Card: Brandon Webb". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  24. ^ "Major League Leaderboards » 2012 » Pitchers » Batted Ball Statistics". Fangraphs. Retrieved 15 August 2012. 
  25. ^ "Community honors its baseball hero". dailyindependent. Retrieved August 8, 2008. 
  26. ^ "Brandon Webb's K Foundation". Retrieved 15 August 2012. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Eric Hinske
Baseball America Rookie of the Year
2003
Succeeded by
Khalil Greene
Preceded by
Jake Peavy
National League Pitcher of the month
April 2008
Succeeded by
Todd Wellemeyer