Posts Tagged ‘Barry Enright’

Hudson shines in D-backs’ homerfest

August 12, 2010 Comments off

MILWAUKEE — While the numbers certainly are impressive, Daniel Hudson really showed what he could do on the mound after a couple mistakes.

He’s made just eight career starts, but Hudson displayed composure like a veteran, bouncing back from a terrible start to the second inning to lead the D-backs to an 8-2 victory over the Brewers on Wednesday.

After striking out the side in the first, Hudson surrendered back-to-back home runs to Prince Fielder and Casey McGehee to open the second.

“I got 3-0 on Fielder, and I know he swings 3-0 all the time, but I know I didn’t want to walk him either the first time through the lineup,” Hudson said. “I just got lucky the scoreboard didn’t fall over after he hit it.

“Then McGehee kind of ambushed me next pitch. You’ve just got to push through that.”

Hudson did, in fine fashion.

Much like fellow young starters, Ian Kennedy and Barry Enright did in the first two games of the series, Hudson shut down the Brewers from then on — retiring 16 of the final 20 batters he faced.

“I thought he showed good composure coming back,” D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. “He was in a couple situations there, where you can see again he has great composure. He makes his pitches when he has to and he gets out of it.”

Hudson went seven innings, allowing just the two runs on seven hits while walking one to go with a career-high nine strikeouts. It was the third straight start of seven or more innings for Hudson since joining the D-backs on July 30.

In the fourth, the offense rewarded Hudson for his composure.

With one out, four D-backs belted consecutive home runs off Brewers starter Dave Bush, tying a Major League record and making Arizona the seventh team to homer in four straight at-bats.

First baseman Adam LaRoche started the run of homers and was followed by Miguel Montero, Mark Reynolds and Stephen Drew, all in the span of 10 pitches.

“It was pretty cool to be a part of it,” Reynolds said. “Rochey and Miggy got things going there and tied it up. [Bush] hung me a curveball, so I was able to put a pretty good swing on it. Stephen came up and hit it in the bullpen, and it was pretty cool.”

It was the second time in as many seasons that the D-backs hit three or more home runs off Bush in an inning at Miller Park. On May 3, 2009, Reynolds and Justin Upton went back-to-back to lead off the seventh inning, and Montero added a third with two out in the D-backs’ 4-3 loss.

Fielder went back-to-back leading off the second inning in that game as well, with Mike Cameron following him against Yusmeiro Petit.

In the sixth, Bush was chased from the game after loading the bases with two walks and a hit batsman. With one out, Hudson ripped an 0-1 fastball from reliever Todd Coffey to the gap in right-center field for a bases-clearing double, putting the game well out of reach.

With the double, Hudson upped his batting average to .222 and he has five RBIs in just eight at-bats. Those numbers certainly don’t make it look like a guy who hasn’t hit since high school.

“He’s got some athletic ability,” Gibson said. “He swings the bat good and that’s just another plus of him. As it goes on he’s going to become a better hitter, and it’s a weapon.”

Hudson (3-0) has dominated since being acquired from the White Sox. Over 22 2/3 innings with Arizona, the 23-year-old right-hander has allowed just four runs on 13 hits, while striking out 17 and walking four.

His performance marked the third straight strong start from the D-backs’ three young starters — Kennedy, Enright and Hudson — in which they have pitched a combined 19 innings, allowing seven runs on 15 hits with five walks and 15 strikeouts.

“The guy has good stuff,” McGehee said. “Good movement, good deception and he threw strikes. You add that all up and you’ve got a pretty good pitcher out there.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Diamondbacks beat 8/11

August 12, 2010 Comments off

Young’s aggressiveness pays dividends

MILWAUKEE — With the D-backs trailing 1-0 in the fifth on Tuesday against the Brewers, Chris Young came up with a big one-out double to center field. What he did once he got to second base was even more important.

Young took off on Manny Parra’s first pitch to Kelly Johnson — getting a huge jump on the Brewers lefty — and stole third base with ease.

“Good baseball awareness. He understands when to go, when not to,” D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. “When he took third base, it was a huge baseball play. And that’s him doing his homework.”

Gibson talked again before Wednesday’s game about Young’s abilities on the basepaths, adding to the praise he gave his center fielder the previous night.

“You prepare for games, but when games get tight and they get hairy, sometimes people can forget about those things,” Gibson said. “He took advantage of that situation. … It was great timing. You want to do that with less than two outs, if you can get to third base.”

Of the steal, Young said it had more to do with feel than any research he had done. Young noticed Parra was more focused on the hitter, and that he “got a pretty good jump.”

“If I have the opportunity to steal bases or impact the game in any way, by all means, I’m looking to do it,” Young said. “I’m trying to be as aggressive as possible, but still in control and trying to pick my spots.”

D-backs trying to reduce rash of thefts

MILWAUKEE — For much of the season, the kind of jump Chris Young got off lefty Manny Parra on Tuesday was more commonplace for opponents of the D-backs.

With 94 stolen bases allowed, Arizona is tied with Pittsburgh for the most in the National League, while tied for third in the Majors behind Boston and Kansas City. Lately, the D-backs have been working to cut down on steals allowed.

In particular, manager Kirk Gibson and the D-backs coaching staff is making more running game control calls from the bench.

“More sequence stuff, more slide steps, more holds,” Gibson said.

On Tuesday, Gibson praised rookie Barry Enright’s abilities to contribute in that capacity.

“Totally controlled the game, and I don’t know if you guys noticed how good he is at controlling the running game, too,” Gibson said. “Some of that’s coming from the dugout, some of that he’s doing on his own. I think he’s kind of learning how to keep himself slowed down in those situations.”

Slowing the game down is something Gibson believes in, as far as limiting the opponent’s ability on the basepaths.

Another key focus for D-backs pitchers has been trying to avoid becoming too predictable.

“Guys tend to get into a pattern; you want to be able to break that pattern up and still get your pitches over,” Gibson said. “Those guys work on that virtually every day.

“That’s something that, if I’m here next year, when we get into Spring Training, they’re going to be so sick of working on holds and being quicker to the plate. But it absolutely has to happen. You absolutely need to be able to control that. Not even a question.”

Gutierrez progressing after bullpen session

MILWAUKEE — Juan Gutierrez threw a bullpen session on Wednesday at Miller Park, moving the D-backs reliever a step closer to returning from the disabled list.

Manager Kirk Gibson was happy with what he saw from the right-hander, who has been on the DL since Aug. 3 with right shoulder inflammation.

“He threw good,” Gibson said. “I’m not sure what the exit plan is for the disabled list, but it looked like he was throwing the ball good.”

Though Gibson was unsure of the exact course of action for Gutierrez, he speculated as to what might happen in the near future.

“Leo threw live [batting practice] [Wednesday],” Gibson said, referring to right-hander Leo Rosales, who has been on the DL since April 29 with a right foot sprain. “My guess is [Gutierrez] will probably do something like that.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Montero’s blast leads D-backs past Crew

August 12, 2010 Comments off

MILWAUKEE — Early on in the 2010 season, pitching was the problem for the D-backs. Now, it’s been the biggest reason they’ve put together a hot streak over the past two weeks.

Solid pitching was the key Tuesday as the D-backs beat the Brewers, 2-1, at Miller Park for just their seventh win when scoring three or fewer runs.

On May 29, the team ERA peaked at 5.95, the worst it has been all season for the D-backs. Since then, it’s been on a steady decline.

Pitching continued to be key on Tuesday. Since losing seven straight to the Giants and Phillies, the pitching staff has posted a 3.96 ERA over 108 2/3 innings pitched, more than a run below their season mark, which was lowered to 5.15 following Tuesday’s game.

Despite the improvement since late May, however, the offense has frequently been burdened this season with overcoming large deficits. As a result, the key for the D-backs this season has been getting to four runs.

When scoring four or more, they’re 38-24. Three or fewer runs, on the other hand, and the D-backs had just a 6-45 record entering the second of four games with the Brewers.

“Those guys have been throwing the ball pretty good lately,” said catcher Miguel Montero. “Finally our bullpen is starting to put it all together.

“I think we’re going to have a good run the rest of the season.”

Montero, who has been hot himself lately, came up with the game-winner in the eighth, blasting a solo home run off the batter’s eye in center field.

Rookie right-hander Barry Enright was impressive once again, but settled for the no-decision as he tossed six strong innings, giving up just one run on three hits. He also walked two while recording a pair of strikeouts.

Making his eighth career start, Enright extended his streak of consecutive starts of five innings or more with three or fewer runs allowed.

Enright has reached that mark in each of his first eight Major League starts, joining the Angels’ Jared Weaver as the only active players to do so.

“Their pitcher, his command was tremendous,” said Brewers manager Ken Macha of Enright. “He got Strike 1, and I thought he was commanding the outside corner very well. After he got Strike 1, he didn’t give you many pitches to hit.”

After struggling a bit in the first two innings, Enright settled in, much like Ian Kennedy did on Monday night. Enright gave up a single to center fielder Lorenzo Cain to lead off the game before retiring five straight batters. With two out in the second, Alcides Escobar homered to left, accounting for the Brewers’ only run.

Enright retired 13 of the last 16 batters he faced after the Escobar home run, though, giving the 24-year-old rookie his fifth consecutive quality start.

“He did his job. Six innings, and he totally controlled the game,” D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. “It’s obvious he was getting tired, but he found a way to get through it. Real good job.”

Arizona’s offense was limited much of the night, but the D-backs managed their first run in the fifth. The run was generated nearly completely by the speed of Chris Young, who doubled, stole third and scored on a shallow fly to second baseman Rickie Weeks.

Weeks’ throw easily beat Young, but catcher Jonathan Lucroy was up the first base line a bit when he caught it. As the rookie turned back to make the tag, Young slid in just ahead of Lucroy, tying the game at one run apiece.

“Right there, you take a chance,” Young said. “If the right fielder catches that ball, I probably don’t run. But it was the second baseman. He’s running back and if he catches it he still has to stop, pivot, turn around and make an accurate throw to get the out.

“It was pretty much a gamble. I could been out just as easily as I was safe, but it was definitely time to take a gamble.”

Behind Enright, who left after tossing 93 pitches, the bullpen was dominant for the second straight night, shutting the Brewers down over the final three frames. Entering in the seventh with the game tied, Blaine Boyer pitched two scoreless innings, giving up just one hit as he picked up his third win of the season.

In the ninth, Gibson handed the ball to Sam Demel, giving the rookie his first career save opportunity. One night after securing his first Major League win, Demel gave up two hits, but got a huge double play in the inning to pick up his first career save.

“It’s been kind of a whirlwind,” Demel said. “It’s been nice getting in those situations and coming through. … It’s still the same game, just a different inning.”

As the D-backs won for the fifth time in their last six games and the eighth time in 12 games, there’s a definite sense of optimism in the visitor’s clubhouse this week in Milwaukee.

While they’re well out of the playoff race, the D-backs look like a team that could put together an impressive run over the season’s final eight weeks.

“The pieces are here. We have great teammates and we have great guys around here,” Enright said. “It’s all trusting each other and we kind of have that team chemistry. We’re all starting to mesh with the new guys in the locker room.

“Having that come, it’s done a great job and it’s pretty exciting.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Diamondbacks beat 8/9

August 12, 2010 Comments off

Hot-hitting LaRoche gets Monday off

MILWAUKEE — With as well as Adam LaRoche has been hitting of late, it’s surprising to see his name left out of the lineup, especially against a left-handed starter.

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said Monday it was nothing more than a scheduled day off for the right-handed slugger.

“He’s played quite a bit,” Gibson said. “We talked a couple days ago and it’s probably a good time for that. You’d like to have him in there … but it’s just the smart thing to do. He’s dragging a little bit.”

Before sitting out Monday’s series opener against the Brewers, LaRoche had played 23 straight games over 24 days, dating back to July 16. LaRoche last got a day off when he sat out the D-backs’ final two games before the All-Star break.

Gibson noted a similar move recently with an Arizona outfielder has worked well for him.

“I gave Chris Young a day off the other day,” Gibson said. “He was one of the guys who hadn’t had a day off and it worked out very good in the long run for us. We’ve got other guys. Adam hasn’t had a day off here — him and Kelly [Johnson] — really for a long time.”

D-backs monitoring Kennedy’s innings

MILWAUKEE — In his last start, Ian Kennedy lasted just four innings while giving up four runs on eight hits. D-backs manager Kirk Gibson expected to limit the young right-hander’s innings again Monday, but not quite as much as last time out.

“We’re looking at his innings,” Gibson said. “Ideally he’d be having a really good game and we’d squeak six or seven out of him and let him go a little longer.”

When Kennedy was removed after just four innings and 69 pitches against the Nationals on Wednesday, it had to do with the way he was pitching, too.

“I know he didn’t like to come out then, but there was no reason in my mind to let him continue to struggle,” Gibson said. “I’d rather let him if he gets in a good situation today, try and extend him, see if he can pitch through that type of situation.

“It doesn’t mean we won’t take him out after five or after six, but if he’s got it going and he’s fairly efficient with it, I’ll let him go a little longer.”

Kennedy isn’t the only D-backs starter whose innings will be watched closely over the season’s final two months.

With Barry Enright and Daniel Hudson having made just 14 combined starts in the Major Leagues, they’ll kept around the 180-inning mark this season for innings pitched at all levels.

Entering the Milwaukee series, Enright had pitched 135 1/3 innings in 2010, while Hudson had 124 2/3, with both pitching at Triple-A and in the Majors this season. Both could hit the 180 mark sometime in their next 7-10 starts.

“They’re OK, we’ve got a handle on it,” Gibson said. “We’ve got it planned out. One way or the other, they’ll be well within their range.”

Gibson, D-backs confident in Parra

MILWAUKEE — With a left-handed starter on the mound, it typically means a day off for left-handed hitting outfielder Gerardo Parra. That wasn’t the case on Monday night.

“It’s time to do that sometime,” said D-backs manager Kirk Gibson of starting Parra against lefties. “Though he’s not happy with his results, we’re still behind him and what we think his abilities are. He’s played really good outfield for us and he can hit. We know that he can hit.”

Nearly all of Parra’s at-bats this season have come against right-handed pitchers with just 16 against lefties. In those few chances against left-handed pitching, Parra has gone 4-for-16 with three RBIs and four strikeouts.

Parra hasn’t rewarded his manager’s confidence in his abilities at the plate this season, batting just .238/.282/.348 with two home runs and 19 RBIs over 86 games in 2010.

“It’s part of the game. The game’s somewhat streaky,” Gibson said. “You hit into a couple of double plays, first and thirds and then you start to press a little bit, get frustrated.

“He’s been working on some things in the cage too. It’s hard to take it from the cage to the game. It’s just part of his development.”

While it has been a struggle for Parra in his second season, Gibson and the D-backs remain confident in the 23-year-old native of Venezuela.

“We just tell him ‘Relax, you can play,'” Gibson said. “I don’t need to put any more pressure on him than he already puts on himself.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.