Padres can't untangle Webb in finale
Reineke posts quality outing; offense records just one run
PHOENIX -- Chad Reineke may have pitched well enough to win in the second start of his young career, but everything the Padres rookie did, it seemed Cy Young frontrunner Brandon Webb did better Thursday.Reineke (1-1) proved he was able to compete with Webb for a few innings, but the D-backs' sinkerball specialist limited the Padres to just three hits in seven shutout innings as the Padres fell, 4-1, at Chase Field. The loss swept the Padres out of Chase Field, and meant the club has now lost four straight and seven of its past nine. For Reineke's part, he felt like he is improving and quickly adjusting to life at the big league level. But, he had never seen a sinkerball drop as much as it did with Webb.
In the fifth inning, after Luis Rodriguez had singled to lead off the inning, Reineke attempted to bunt Rodriguez over to second -- but struck out instead."I don't think I've ever bunted a ball that moved like that," Reineke said. "Every one of those pitches he threw me looked like a strike. I went back in the dugout and asked one of the other guys, and they said they were probably down. It just drops off the table.
"When you're bunting, you kind of want a pitch that's down in the zone. It looks good coming at you, but right when it gets to you, it just drops. He made me look pretty foolish out there."Reineke wasn't the only Padres hitter made to look foolish by Webb, who tied a season high with eight strikeouts while posting his career-high 19th win. Both Kevin Kouzmanoff and Tadahito Iguchi struck out twice against the veteran right-hander. Adam Dunn led off the D-backs' second inning with a walk, and scored two batters later on a Tony Clark sacrifice fly. Arizona tacked on two more runs in the fifth off a Conor Jackson double, and added another in the eighth on an RBI single by Chris Snyder. The D-backs, who have struggled recently against pitchers they aren't familiar with, wanted to jump on Reineke fast. "We didn't want to flash back to Pittsburgh," said Jackson, referring to a game during the past homestand where Pirates pitcher Jeff Karstens took a perfect game into the eighth inning. "We wanted to get some early hits." The Padres scored their lone run in the top of the ninth off closer Brandon Lyon in a non-save situation. With two outs, Chase Headley reached base on a single, moved to second on defensive indifference and scored on a pinch-hit single by Edgar Gonzalez. With the run, Thursday became the third consecutive game in which a Padres hitter had a pinch-hit RBI. One of Reineke's only mistakes was the inside fastball he threw to Jackson that went down the line for a double. "I think I had actually gotten him out on that pitch twice before in the game, but he made the adjustment," Reineke said. "I threw it in the same place I threw it earlier in the game, and he opened up and was able to pull it down the line. That's something I may need to work on, is knowing that guys the third time around are expecting me to [throw] what I did earlier." Padres manager Bud Black was impressed with Reineke's composure during his second start, which saw him notch his first quality start in the big leagues after going six innings and allowing three runs. "He hung in there pretty well against a guy that looks like he might be on his way to the Cy Young," Black said. "He matched him pretty much for four innings, [but] then Jackson got the big hit. But he's got a fastball that looks like it's got a little bit of late life to it, and pretty good action on the slider. He threw a few good changeups, too. "He hung in there and battled. He looks to be a guy that his concentration level is pretty high and looks to be focused pitch to pitch." Reineke admitted after the game he still had some jitters. "I felt a little bit more comfortable out there today," Reineke said. "I still had some nerves and things like that, but I just felt like I competed. There are a lot of things I still need to get better at. I need to throw a lot more strikes and not fall into hitter's counts so many times. But overall, I was just happy to keep it close and make a game out of it."
Mike Ritter is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.