No matter what happened, pulling Saunders was smart

Oct 7, 2011, 1:57 AM | Updated: 2:59 am

When Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson decided to pull starting pitcher Joe Saunders in the third inning on Wednesday, he made a smart decision.

“Joe Saunders is not needed as much as runs were. Great job, Kirk Gibson,” said Doug Franz, co-host of Arizona Sports 620’s Doug & Wolf Show.

When Gibson made the decision to let Collin Cowgill pinch-hit for Saunders in the third, he had no way of knowing what Cowgill would do at the plate but had a few reasons to believe that Saunders wasn’t getting it done: he couldn’t get the lead-off hitters out, the Brewers kept coming and didn’t show that he had what it took to take down Milwaukee, Franz said.

Gibson had to live in the moment and do his best with the information he had available and, given what he had, opted for runs in favor of pitching and that was a great decision, no matter what Cowgill did at the plate, Franz said.

“Saunders didn’t make it three innings, his manager made the right decision to win that game — to pull him to give the D-backs a better run-scoring chance in that inning,” said Franz.

When the D-backs take on the Brewers in the deciding Game 5 on Friday, D-backs fans can bet that Gibson will be at his sharpest and demonstrated Wednesday that he is not afraid to pull a starter if an opportunity shows itself.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Mike Hazen, Torey Lovullo, and Ken Kendrick of the Arizona Diamondbacks look on as Corbin Carroll a...
Arizona Sports

Roundtable: What are our expectations for the 2023 Diamondbacks?

What our Arizona Sports hosts and editors think this D-backs team can achieve this season.
16 hours ago
D-backs P Ryne Nelson (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)...
Tyler Drake

D-backs eager to get season into full swing after strong spring

With Tuesday's final exhibition of the spring now in the rearview, it's time to look ahead to the regular for the D-backs.
2 days ago
This is a 2023 photo of Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Carlos Vargas. This image reflects the ...
Arizona Sports

Carlos Vargas earns final D-backs bullpen spot, Mantiply to IL

Arizona Diamondbacks righty Carlos Vargas has made the Opening Day roster, skipper Torey Lovullo announced Tuesday.
2 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Corbin Carroll. (Zac BonDurant/Getty Images)...
Jake Anderson

Diamondbacks’ young prospects have Torey Lovullo looking at ‘very bright future’

It's hard to get excited about results in the penultimate game of spring training when Opening Day is on the horizon.
3 days ago
Arizona Diamondbacks right-handed pitcher Drey Jameson speaks to reporters prior to a spring traini...
Jake Anderson

D-backs’ Drey Jameson ‘doesn’t give a (expletive)’ about not starting, only wants to win

Competition between teammates can bring out the worst in individuals, but that's not the case for D-backs' Drey Jameson and Ryne Nelson.
3 days ago
Corbin Carroll #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks hits the ball during the first inning of the Spring T...
Alex Weiner

Five of the D-backs’ Cactus League standouts

Corbin Carroll and Gabriel Moreno were amongst the top performers for the Arizona Diamondbacks during Cactus League games.
3 days ago
No matter what happened, pulling Saunders was smart