Diamondbacks beat 8/10
D-backs’ Young first to join 20/20 club
MILWAUKEE — With his third-inning home run on Monday, Chris Young did more than just tie the game at two runs apiece. The D-backs center fielder became the first player in the Majors this season with 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases.
Young, who ranks fifth in the National League with 22 stolen bases, reached the 20-homer, 20-stolen base mark for the second time in his career and the first time since his 2007 rookie season.
“It’s nice,” Young said of the feat. “You’d like to be winning more games so you get away from focusing on the personal things, but it’s nice. I’m having a better season, it’s a big turn around from last year for me.”
Including Tuesday’s game in Milwaukee, the D-backs have 49 games remaining as Young chases his first career 30-homer, 30-stolen base season.
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson sees it as a possibility for Young, but is more concerned with Young having improved dramatically at the plate, especially as his current .268 batting average is 26 points higher than his career average.
“His approach at the plate’s really good,” Gibson said. “He’s really beginning to understand how to get to certain pitches that they used to get him out on.
“Stolen base-wise, he’s getting really advanced. He’s got several techniques that he uses. I don’t know if he’ll get to 30-30, but I wouldn’t put it out of reach for him sometime in his career.”
After an impressive rookie season that saw Young belt 32 home runs and steal 27 bases, his production declined in each of the past two seasons. Young had 22 home runs with 85 RBIs and 14 stolen bases in 2008 before dropping to 15 homers and 11 steals last season with just a .212 batting average.
Young’s 20th homer came a year removed from his demotion to the Minors last season, where he played from August 10-28 before returning to the big league club. Before he was sent down, Young hit just seven home runs with 28 RBIs and a sub-Mendoza line .194 average.
Over the final month of the season, Young’s production picked up, as he tallied eight home runs with 14 RBIs and a .263 batting average.
“It was a reality check,” Young said. “It was a sign that, ‘Hey, you need to turn things around if you expect to play at this level.’ I took it as a challenge. Nobody’s given anything in this game, and you have to earn everything, especially at this level.”
Drew records 250th RBI in 600th game
MILWAUKEE — When he stepped in against Trevor Hoffman in the 10th inning on Monday, shortstop Stephen Drew had already reached one career milestone on the day. With his two-run single, he added another.
Drew, playing in his fourth full season with the D-backs, collected his 250th and 251st career RBIs. It also happened to be Drew’s 600th career game.
Joining Luis Gonzalez, Steve Finley, Chad Tracy and Jay Bell in an exclusive club, Drew became just the fifth player in Arizona history to play in 600 games and collect 250 RBIs as a D-back.
“Is that good or not?” Drew asked before learning how many players in franchise history had done so. “To reach that milestone, it’s pretty neat to hear that I was only the fifth one to ever do it.
“I don’t really set any goals or look at goals until the end of the season. It’s one of those things that is neat in its own self, but I just try to go out every day and help the team win, some way, some how.”
With 250 RBIs, Drew is just the eighth player in franchise history to reach that mark, joining current teammates Mark Reynolds and Chris Young. Drew is only the seventh player in franchise history to play in 600 games and the only current player to have done so.
He was not the only one at Miller Park this week who had reached that feat, however, as former D-backs shortstop and current Brewers infielder Craig Counsell played 664 games with Arizona.
Despite being just 27 years old, the 600-game mark makes Drew one of the more veteran guys in the D-backs’ clubhouse.
“When I first got called up, it was a bunch of veteran guys. We were still in purple then,” Drew said. “We had guys like Counsell and the reason I got called up was he had a broken rib. Gonzo was there still, [Brandon Webb] was still there. To play so many games here it’s nice, especially to stay in one spot, it’s huge.
“We had some good years when I first got called up. The year right after, we made the playoffs and that was neat in itself.”
Gibson: D-backs being thrown at is ‘baseball’
MILWAUKEE — As a 90-mph fastball from Chris Narveson sailed behind the back of Rusty Ryal in the fourth inning Monday night, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson wasn’t surprised, nor was he too upset.
With his starter having hit three Brewers hitters, it was just part of the game.
“He tried to hit Ryal before that, and then they threw a changeup and [Brewers manager Ken] Macha was over there going, ‘Come on!’” Gibson said. “I understand, I had no problem with any of it. We hit three of their guys — not on purpose — they tried to hit Rusty.
“That’s baseball. We should’ve just walked down to the base. I had no problem with any of that.”
While he’s fine with the idea of settling such matters that way, Gibson went on to say he would never instruct one of his pitchers to intentionally hit an opposing batter.
Still, he wouldn’t oppose such actions from his pitching staff.
“I told Joe Saunders not to hit him,” Gibson said, referring to the D-backs’ game on August 3, when Mark Reynolds was hit in the head by a Nationals pitcher. “But somewhere along the line, if somebody would’ve responded to that throughout that series, to me, that’s one of the things that helps connect you.
“Reynolds would’ve known what happened. Those are just little subtle things that happen within a game.”
Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.