DIAMONDBACKS 8, CUBS 4: Arizona took a commanding 2-0 lead in its
National League Division Series with Chicago by winning Game 2 at Chase
Field on Thursday, thanks in part to a three-run home run by rookie
center fielder Chris Young in the second inning off Ted Lilly.
Shortstop Stephen Drew added a two-run triple and left fielder Eric Byrnes had an RBI triple as well. The Diamondbacks, the National League West champions, now head to Chicago to try and close things out in Game 3 on Saturday.
Left-hander Doug Davis allowed four earned runs and six hits in 5 2/3 innings, striking out eight and walking four. The Diamondbacks bullpen, which has been solid all year, came in to provide 3 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, with closer Jose Valverde striking out three batters in the ninth.
--RHP Brandon Webb, who threw just 89 pitches in winning Game 1 against the Cubs, could be brought back on three days' rest and pitch Sunday in Game 4, if it is necessary.
"Anything's possible," Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said, adding he probably would consult with Webb about the start should Arizona lose Game 3 in Chicago on Saturday. If the Diamondbacks were to advance to the NLCS, Webb would still be available to pitch Game 2 and 5 of that series, on normal rest.
Presently, RHP Micah Owings is scheduled to start Game 4 against the Cubs, should it be required.
--Manager Bob Melvin on the pro-Diamondbacks crowd in Games 1 and 2 at Chase Field, a stadium that typically in the past has shown favoritism to popular opponents, especially the Cubs: "I thought it was great. I was really surprised. You didn't really even hear the Cubs fans. It was predominantly red out there. Every time it sounded like the Cubs tried to get something going, our people jumped in there. That was exciting to see. Even some of our guys were commenting on the bench."
--SS Stephen Drew is 4-for-9 in the series against the Cubs after hitting just .238 during the regular season.
--Cubs manager Lou Piniella on Diamondbacks ace Brandon Webb, the winner in Game 1 of the NL Division Series against Chicago: "Colorado has lost one game in the last (17) games, and some guy named Webb beat them. So give the guy credit, for God's sake."
--LHP Doug Davis improved to 8-5 against the Cubs in 14 career starts on Thursday, including a 6-2 mark since 2005.
"It just seems that every time I face them, it feels like I can execute a plan that I've been working on for the week before that," Davis said. "It's something that I study and figure out what hitters' weaknesses are, and I try to execute my pitches and let my fielders work behind me."
--LF Eric Byrnes on the 2-0 start vs. the Cubs: "We probably shocked a lot of people, but there are 25 guys who believe in here and we're playing pretty well. ... I don't anticipate us being intimidated as we go into the hostile environment that is Chicago."
BY THE NUMBERS: 162 -- Pitches the Diamondbacks forced the Cubs to throw in eight innings Thursday during Game 2.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Everything is going our way right now, and hopefully we'll keep it that way. We had clutch hitting and then clutch defense." -- SS Stephen Drew after Arizona opened a 2-0 lead in its National League Division Series against the Cubs.
ANALYZING THE LINEUP:
1. CF Chris Young
2. SS Stephen Drew
3. LF Eric Byrnes
4. 1B Conor Jackson
5. 3B Mark Reynolds
6. C Chris Snyder
7. RF Justin Upton
8. 2B Augie Ojeda
Comment: Even batter except for Jackson, who replaced Tony Clark in the lineup, got a hit in Game 2. Ojeda, a .232 career big-league hitter, has collected two hits in each of the first two games. He's proving to be a fine backup for injured Gold Glove winner Orlando Hudson -- although he committed a ninth-inning error Thursday when he took his eye off a throw.
ANALYZING THE ROTATION:
1. RHP Brandon Webb
2. LHP Doug Davis
3. RHP Livan Hernandez
4. RHP Micah Owings
Comment: Webb was Webb in Game 1, tossing seven strong innings for the win. Davis was Davis in Game 2. While he was far from overpowering, he did enough to keep his team in the game. Hernandez, with loads of postseason experience from his Marlins and Giants days, will go for the clincher Saturday.
ANALYZING THE BULLPEN:
RH closer Jose Valverde
RHP Brandon Lyon
RHP Tony Pena Jr.
RHP Juan Cruz
Comment: Valverde, the major league's regular-season save leader with 47, has closed down both wins so far, and he's looked strong in the process. In two innings, he's allowed two baserunners while fanning four. The only blemish for the bullpen Thursday was Cruz allowing a pair of inherited runners to score.
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