For a game that the D-backs lost 8 to 3 that included a three-run home run in the 9th inning and a base-running mistake caused by the dugout, new manager Kirk Gibson seemed fairly content with the way his team played. Of course, what else is he going to say at this point in this season?
His bullpen includes several young arms who he is unwilling to overwork so that leads to two inning from Gutierrez (1 hit, 0 runs) and Chad Qualls having to come in for the ninth inning behind two runs.
"Chad Qualls got three out of four batters he faced got ground balls," Gibson said. "He threw the ball good, made one mistake. He was trying to go with a sinker away. He's had great success against Ramirez and it ran over the inside part of the plate."
The mistake lead to a three-run bomb that effectively ended the game. The hope is that the bullpen can get rested and the roles can become more set but right now there's middle-inning guys and late-inning guys and they pitch based on availability.
Swing and miss
The D-backs once again tallied ten strikeouts as a team. They were spread pretty evenly through the line-up with only Montero and LaRoche having two each and plenty of other guys recording one K.
King of the K, Mark Reynolds, continues to work on adjusting his swing - but not too much.
"I'm not overhauling everything by any means. Just simple adjustments, minor tweaks here and there. It's going to take me a little while to get used to it but I'm not changing anything major. It's just simple minor little things that get better with repetition. I'm in the cage every day working with Jack trying to simplify things and hopefully as the season rolls on I can get better and better at it and get better pitches to hit and put better at-bats together."
Reynold's ankle (and hip and back)
Mark rolled his ankle in the fourth inning when new third base coach Joel Youngblood threw up a late stop-sign as Reynolds was running from second off a Parra hit. Mark said the grass gave out and so did his ankle.
In the next inning, Reynolds attempted to make a play at the runner on third base when he tweaked his back and hip. He claims he will be fine with some ice treatment and will play tomorrow. We'll see.
Jackon's bad luck
Edwin went five innings and threw 100 pitches (32 balls, 62 strikes). He gave up five earned runs and walked four batters. He said after the game that he felt he pitched well but just suffered from some bad luck.
"It was just one of those days, you make pitches and they get a hit. Sometimes the ball goes your way and sometimes it doesn't. Today it didn't," Jackson said.
Both Edwin and his manager are looking forward to the all-star break so he can get some rest. Gibson called him a work-horse who's pitched a lot of innings this year so far. On the bases, the manager tries to get Edwin only run at 80% and not exert too much energy but called the kid a competitor and a good example for the team.
Gibson's hit and run mistake
In the second inning, Miguel Montero singled his way on to first and then with Reynolds (the strike out king) at the plate mysteriously tried to steal second on a hit and run play. If you are wondering why a slowish catcher would try to steal on a hit and run play with the league's-leading strikeout man at the plate, well the answer is in the dug out.
"The Montero steal was my mistake," Gibson said. "We didn't want him to steal or a hit and run. It was my mistake. That was just me communicating with my third base coach. My fault."
Reynolds ended up grounding out into what might have been a double-play ball if Montero isn't picked off at second. But on the other hand, with LaRoche and Drew singling behind him he also might have scored.
I guess we chalk that one up to a new manager working with a new coach and just move on.
Montero has hit safely in 15 of his last 19 games at a .348 clip with six doubles, two home-runs and 10 RBI.