The Arizona Diamondbacks needed a win in the worst win on Friday, having lost six straight games previously. They got it in a 5-3 win over the Dodgers. It was another case of winning solving problems. Manager Kirk Gibson and some of the players had some things to say after the game. Here are some of those quotes.
On Justin Upton:
Upton came up huge in the sixth inning, getting that two-run triple against Clayton Kershaw. It was only the second time he had ever gotten a hit off of him. Upton said, "It's always nice to get a big hit for your team, and get a good reaction."
He had been booed recently and was quoted as saying he didn't care about what the fans thought. Getting that big hit got the appropriate reaction from the fans.
Kirk Gibson was a little more direct about the booing of his right-fielder. "Honestly, the home fans, they shouldn't be booing the kid, period," said the manager after the game. "We've got to stick behind him. We need to encourage him through the tough times." It is not the first time Gibson has been a bit critical of how the fans have responded to Upton.
Josh Collmenter, his performance and wanting to start:
After being moved to the bullpen early in the season, a place where he has had great success pitching in long relief, Collmenter has done very well in the starting rotation replacing Daniel Hudson, who went down to injury. He has allowed just two earned runs in 12 innings.
His play was great on Friday. "You can't say enough about Josh Collmenter," said Kirk Gibson. "I mean, 111 pitches. He's never been past 91. he's just such a good competitor...He just competes and executes pitches for us. It's outstanding he got the win tonight."
How was he able to extend himself and stay effective? "I knew with it being the last start going into the break," answered Collmenter. "I wanted to give them everything I had."
Joe Saunders should be back from the disabled list after the All-Star Break, which will mean that either Trevor Bauer or Collmenter will get moved out of the rotation.
I asked Collmenter what role he would prefer. Gibby has gone on record saying he loves him in the long relief role, but he also has stood behind him as a starter. Said Collmenter:
"I definitely want to be a starter. It's what I've been my entire career and I think this helps if we need a spot to fill as a starter. I think the last couple of outings definitely help the decision going into the break, but ultimately they're going take some days to decide what to do and how they want to set everything up coming out. Whichever role is going to be fun for me, but hopefully it's in a starting spot."
My thoughts have been for some time that unless Trevor Bauer is fantastic on Sunday, it will be Collmenter remaining in the rotation, Bauer getting some seasoning in the minors and Patrick Corbin holding the long relief spot.
On Jason Kubel's arm:
Left-fielder Jason Kubel made one of the biggest plays of the game to end the Dodgers' half of the seventh inning. With one out and the bases loaded, he caught a James Loney fly ball and then threw out Mark Ellis, who was trying to score from third. It was Kubel's 11th outfield assist on the season. Gerardo Parra holds the team reacord with 12, a mark he set just last season. Kubel also had nine assists in 2011 for Minnesota, but that was in only 59 games. "That's what he's been doing for us all year," said Gibson after the game. "He's just so accurate."
Maybe the National League will catch wind and stop running on him.
Arizona and Los Angeles will play again Saturday night at 7:10 PM.
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