The Arizona Diamondbacks are expecting tight games and a full battle when they face the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2011 NLDS. Manager Kirk Gibson wouldn't have it any other way.
"If I could script it out it wouldn't be an easy thing. The tougher the better. Love it. My team will be ready for it," Gibson told the media in Milwaukee on Friday.
Gibson is always looking for an edge and one way he's doing that is by waiting until the last possible moment to announce his playoff roster and pitching rotations.
The D-backs traveled with 30 players to Milwaukee including young RHP Jarrod Parker who could only be added to the roster as an injury replacement since he wasn't called up until after the September 1st deadline. Relief pitchers Ryan Cook, Zack Duke and Albert Castillo are also on the bubble for making the roster which will be announced on Saturday morning.
The only information Gibson would allow is that Ian Kennedy would take the ball in Game 1 and Daniel Hudson in Game 2. We expect to see LHP Joe Saunders in Game 3 but it is possible that Gibson goes with RHP Josh Collmenter who had success in two starts against the right-handed heavy Brewers lineup.
Ian Kennedy talked about his opponent and repeated the obvious, saying the Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder are a big part of the Brewers offense. But when asked if he was concerned about them or anyone else he showed his confidence.
"Personally, there's no one that really concerns me," Kennedy said.
- Gibson stressed his team's ability to deal with anything that comes along was a reflection of a spring training visit by US Navy SEAL team members. The special forces warriors explained their "DWI" mentality as the key to being able to "deal with it", no matter what you have to overcome. The D-backs have come from behind to win 48 times, the best in the MLB.
- Gibson first met Prince Fielder when he was a kid living two blocks from Kirk when he played in Detroit. Prince's father, Cecil was teammate with Gibson and brought young Prince to the field to hit. Gibson said the future Brewers slugger was hitting upper deck shots when he was in eight and ninth grade.
For more on this NLDS series, visit AZ Snake Pit and Brew Crew Ball.