There was a comment that Kirk Gibson made after the game on Friday that revealed a little bit about how he will handle his bullpen. He commented on how it was good to have Ian Kennedy pitch into the seventh, so he only had to use one guy (Joe Paterson) to get to David Hernandez and J.J. Putz.â†µ
What it reveals is pretty simple. He has complete and utter trust in his guys for the eighth and ninth innings.
As for the other guys? Not so much.â†µ
Not that it is a bad thing. Managers have to worry about putting their players, especially relief pitchers in situations that they will be successful in. Sometimes you have a pitcher you trust inherently. The D-backs have two.â†µ
Now, this is not to say that the other guys like Paterson, Brian Shaw and the rest of the guys in the bullpen are chopped liver. Gibson expects his players to do well, and he will not shy away from using them when the need is there.â†µ
But the only two guys he knows that he trusts completely in any situation are Hernandez and Putz. Will anyone step up in that seventh inning? They have the candidates. Brian Shaw has potential. Takashi Saito, if healthy, has the track record. Paterson has shown he can get lefties out.â†µ
In his pregame talk, Gibson said that the seventh inning relievers will be used based on matchups. having a trio of guys will be good.â†µ
If all goes as planned, the final three innings could become automatic. Three guys for one inning and then Hernandez and Putz -- that could be devastating for Arizona opponents.â†µ