Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson is not naive to the fact that his team’s starting rotation is struggling.
However, that does not mean he’s pulling his hair out trying to figure out a way to get his pitchers back on track.
“Right now we’re going to ride it out,” Gibson said, noting that just a few weeks ago the rotation was pitching well as a whole. “Sometimes we hit, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we field the ball better than we do and other times we run the bases, we make mistakes all around the baseball diamond.
“Sometimes we’re exceptional at it, and pitching’s no different.”
Gibson said, ideally, there would not be ups and downs like what his team has dealt with, but acknowledges that it’s pretty much part of the game.
“Virtually every team will go through it,” he said, adding the St. Louis Cardinals are probably the only team that has yet to have those kind of struggles. “You’ve just got to keep believing in yourself.”
On the season, Arizona’s starting pitchers are carrying a 22-21 record to go along with a 4.30 ERA. The latter number is fifth-worst in the National League, better than only the Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies. Gibson, though, thinks things are turning around for his group that includes Ian Kennedy, Wade Miley, Trevor Cahill and Patrick Corbin, along with either Brandon McCarthy or Tyler Skaggs.
In all, Gibson has used six different starters this season, and while each has pitched well at times, each (besides Corbin) has been roughed up, too. The important thing, the skipper reiterated, is to make sure his struggling hurlers don’t lose confidence.
“Anybody can lose their confidence in any aspect of the game, pitching, they’re not insulated from that,” he said. “That’s why I always try to give guys extra time. If there’s a sixth day I can give them I give them that.”
Gibson said as the season goes along pitchers can wear down, so there’s a good chance whoever takes the mound will not feel too great every time they take the mound. However, as long as they’re healthy enough to pitch, he wants to make sure there are no confidence issues.
“Convince them to go back and look at what made them successful,” he said of the key.