Posts Tagged ‘Kelly Johnson’

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.