Kirk Gibson's aggressive mentality works sometimes and sometimes it doesn't. In Game 1 of the NLDS series against the Milwaukee Brewers, the Diamondbacks got burned on a number of plays where caution might have been the better part of valor. But that's not how Arizona has played baseball all summer long, and as Gibson said during an in-game TV interview, he's not going to change anything now.
In the first inning, on the first pitch of the game, Willie Bloomquist led-off with a hit. He stole second with one out and when Justin Upton hit a line drive to shallow left, thirdbase coach Matt Williams sent Bloomquist to test Bryan Braun's arm. Braun delivered a strike to home plate and Willie was out by several steps.
In the sixth inning with two outs, Yuniesky Betancourt tripled off the left field wall. Many teams would have pitched around or intentionally walked the catcher, Jonathan Lucroy, to get to the pitcher but that's now how the D-backs have played things all season long. Lucroy hit a single to plate the second run of the game.
Then in the seventh inning after Ryan Braun doubled and Ian Kennedy had already thrown over 100 pitches, Gibson elected to let Ian pitch to the lefty, Prince Fielder.
With a base open, he could have walked Fielder or he could have brought in his lefty specialist Joe Paterson who was warmed up in the pen. Instead, Kennedy threw a breaking ball inside that Fielder deposited in the seats to put the Brewers up 4-0.
We'll surely hear Gibson asked about these decisions in the postgame press conference but his answer will likely be some variant on what he said during the game, we're not going to change anything now. Nor would we expect this Diamondbacks team to panic.
Offensively, the D-backs were shut down by Brewer's ace Yovani Gallardo.
Bloomquist had two hits in the game and Upton only that one in the first inning. Ryan Roberts hit a solo home rum in the eighth to put Arizona on the board. Gallardo's line was a sterling eight innings pitched, four hits, one walk, one run and nine strikeouts.
Kennedy will surely be disappointed in his performance: 6.2 innings, eight hits, one walk, two hit batters, four earned runs allowed.
Game 2 of the series is Sunday at 2:07 p.m. Arizona time. Daniel Hudson will go against Zack Greinke who's pitching on short rest in a decision that could come back to haunt the Brewers (if it doesn't work).