Webb earns first win, survives celebration

O'Neill begins rehab assignment; Martinez to follow soon

August 22nd, 2019

ST. LOUIS -- was glad to get his first Major League win during Tuesday's 9-4 triumph against the Brewers, but not because it was a relief to get the first one out of the way.

Webb was just glad that he survived the celebration after.

“All I will say is, you get in the laundry cart and you go in the shower and they throw various liquids at you,” Webb said. “It’s more fun for the people that are not in the laundry cart. It’s cool that they’re celebrating you, but they enjoy doing that, while you’re just trying to get through it.”

The “liquids” he referenced are anything and everything that his teammates could find.

“You don’t really want to keep your eyes open for that,” Webb said.

Webb, who struck out Ben Gamel swinging to end the top of the sixth inning before the Cardinals scored four in the bottom of the frame, downplayed the milestone. But what hasn’t been downplayed is Webb’s impact this season for the Cardinals' bullpen. He pitched a scoreless eighth inning in the Cardinals’ rain-shortened, 5-3 loss to the Brewers on Thursday. 

After giving up three runs on four hits against the Giants on July 6, Webb was demoted to Triple-A Memphis. But since being recalled on July 21, Webb has a 0.71 ERA in 12 2/3 innings over 13 outings and has began to be used in higher-leverage situations, taking some of the load off left-hander Andrew Miller, or allowing Cardinals manager Mike Shildt to use both Webb and Miller.

"He’s improved his curveball, his two-seamer, which is getting those ground balls, he’s throwing in," Shildt said. "He’s just using all his pitches and developing his pitches. He competes. He goes out and gives you what he has. Does a great job game planning for what he’s going to do when he gets in the moment.”

Webb has focused on his execution no matter who the hitter is. He keeps hitters on their toes with his changeup and he's developing his breaking ball and improving his pitch mix, something that Shildt said Webb came into Spring Training this year determined to do.

“He does it in a different way, which is probably part of his success,” Miller said. “Most of these guys come to the plate and think left-hander, he’s going to throw me sliders away, but he’s got that great changeup. He attacks hitters in a much different way than I do.”

Webb looks at his success as nothing more than doing his job, which is getting outs and helping the Cardinals win.

“I think it’s just you’re in one of those grooves and you keep it going,” Webb said. “You do little things to get better every day, just keep it as simple as possible is what I’m trying to do. You stick to your strengths and what you do well. Try not to worry too much about the individual hitter. If you execute, good things will happen.”

Injury updates

• Left fielder (left wrist strain) was scheduled to take three at-bats on Wednesday for Memphis, where he began a rehab assignment. There’s no scheduled number of games that O'Neill will need to play before returning, but it will be “more than a couple,” Shildt said.

(right AC joint sprain), who played catch on Wednesday, will soon follow on his own rehab assignment later this week.

(left biceps discomfort) threw a live BP session on Tuesday at the club's Spring Training facility in Jupiter, Fla., where he is rehabbing.