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Notes: Webb evokes Hershiser

Notes: Webb evokes Hershiser

ATLANTA -- As Brandon Webb was putting up zero after zero Friday night to extend his scoreless inning streak to 42, D-backs bench coach Kirk Gibson's thoughts drifted back to 1988.

That was the year that Gibson's Dodgers teammate, Orel Hershiser, set the record with 59 scoreless innings.

"It's a very similar feeling," Gibson said. "The thing about [Webb on Saturday] night that reminds me so much of [Hershiser] is he just gets the sign and throws. That, and his mechanics are unbelievable. You could see it in his mechanics, he came out the same way every time. It's amazing."

It's a common sentiment among Webb's teammates as well.

"To have that level of success over the course of 42 innings, it's hard to fathom," veteran first baseman Tony Clark said. "It's an amazing accomplishment whether he has another scoreless inning or not."

The only person that seems to be completely unfazed by the whole thing is Webb.

As he stood in the on-deck circle in the ninth inning on Friday, a couple of Braves fans in the front row said to him, "Aren't you getting tired yet?"

Webb told them that he was still feeling good and they told him that they thought he was pitching well, to which he said, "Thank you very much."

The scene took place in front of D-backs CEO Jeff Moorad and team president Derrick Hall, both of whom were amazed that despite the fact that he was in the middle of his streak, Webb still acknowledged the fans.

"Are you kidding me?" Hall said. "That tells you right there what kind of person Brandon Webb is."

Resting: First baseman Conor Jackson was out of the lineup on Saturday, along with right fielder Justin Upton, with Tony Clark and Jeff Salazar taking their places.

"I just want to get a couple of more left-handed bats out there today," D-backs manager Bob Melvin said, noting that lefties hit .342 against Buddy Carlyle while righties check in with a .201 mark.

Both are expected to be back in the lineup against John Smoltz on Sunday.

Melvin, however, will likely give left fielder Eric Byrnes the day off. That would be noteworthy seeing as how Byrnes has played in all 123 of Arizona's games this year and that he's played in 163 straight, dating back to last season.

By giving him Sunday off, Melvin figures he can spare him a day game in what promises to be very hot, muggy conditions and since it's a day game with a night game Monday back in Phoenix, it would give Byrnes a little extra time off. Plus, Byrnes is 0-for-6 with three strikeouts in his career against Smoltz.

Speaking of days off: Melvin has toyed with giving center fielder Chris Young, who hit a pair of homers Friday night, a day off, but is having a hard time finding a good time to do it.

"Just when you think it's time to give him a day off, he'll go out there and hit a couple of home runs," Melvin said. "So he's a tough guy to figure out, but he's also a tough guy to figure out for pitchers. You make a mistake and he makes you pay."

Don't forget: Mark Reynolds' two-run homer kind of got lost in the shuffle on Thursday, but a day later his teammates and manager were still talking about the blast, which traveled an estimated 453 feet, the sixth-longest hit in Turner Field history.

"Pretty impressive," Melvin said. "It looked like [Willie] Harris hit his ball pretty good [last night] and for a second, kind of got our hearts beating a little faster and it didn't even get to the warning track. There was some thick air last night so to hit it as far as he hit it... when he first hit it it looked like a golf ball taking off and going out of sight."

Up next: The D-backs finish up the three-game series with the Braves on Sunday afternoon with Yusmeiro Petit (2-3, 4.04 ERA) taking on Smoltz (10-6, 3.09) at 10:05 a.m. MST.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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