Diamondbacks’ right-hander Brandon McCarthy knew he had to overcome some mechanical flaws.
His current 2-8 record was an aberration, he thought, and he owed the D-backs and himself a more refined effort. After beating San Diego 6-1 Monday night before 16, 871, the smallest Chase Field crowd of the season, McCarthy said he did not feel right all season.
Until beating the Padres Monday night.
In concert with the D-backs organization to pick up the pieces from a less than productive season, McCarthy repaired to the video screen and pulled out games of more than a year ago when he pitched for Oakland. That’s when McCarthy admitted he felt close to be being effective.
The result was study, changes and discussion with pitching coach Charles Nagy. With a changed physical disposition, and enlightened outlook, McCarthy took on the Padres with passion. The result was one of his best efforts of the season, and an impressive outing.
“I felt I carried my weight and nice to see a positive result,” he said. “I never felt that strong this season and went back to watch video from before I went on the disabled list last season. I saw some mechanical issues, made a few adjustments (Monday night), and satisfied with the results.”
The victory was only McCarthy’s third of the season, but tended to place a needed exclamation point to his dreadful introduction to the National League.
“All his stuff was working and he got us rolling,” said manager Kirk Gibson. “It was a good, incremental step for him and you can see he was not effected by previous failures.”
After a shaky first inning, McCarthy allowed only four base runners over his final six innings of work. In the process, the 6-7 right-handed picked up his third victory of the season, and his first since defeating San Diego on May 28. His other previous victory was a complete game shutout in Miami on May 18.
If McCarthy was holding the Padres at arm’s length, Paul Goldschmidt and Martin Prado carried the offense.
Despite his great production this season, one offensive category eluded Goldschmidt. Yet, he made up for this deficiency in a timely manner.
Down 1-0 in the fourth, Adam Eaton led off by getting hit with a pitch. Goldschmidt then sent a towering, twisting drive which bounced off the fence in the right field corner. Eaton scored to tie the game, and Goldschmidt ended up on third with his first triple since June 23, 2012 against the Cubs.
Prado then followed with a sacrifice fly and pushed the D-backs into a 2-1 lead. Later in the sixth, Prado’s grounder to third with the bases loaded was not handled cleanly by Chase Headley and the error allowed Tony Campana and Eaton to score and manufacture a 4-1 Arizona lead.
For his part, Prado has hit in 11 of his last 12 games at a .361 clip. In that time span, he’s knocked in 19 runs.
“Right now, I’m taking advantage of the pitchers are giving me,” he said. “It was a different course for the first few months but things are going good now. Just have to continue and help my team as best I can.”
START THE MERRY GO-ROUND
More roster moves for the Diamondbacks.
Prior to Monday’s game with San Diego, Arizona reinstated infielder Eric Chavez and catcher Miguel Montero from the disabled list.
Both were in the starting line-up Monday night against Padres’ right-hander Tyson Ross.
To make room on the roster, the Diamondbacks assigned infielder Matt Davidson and catcher Tuffy Gosewisch both to Triple A Reno.
Chavez was on the DL since August 11 with a left knee strain, and manager Kirk Gibson said he will not push the veteran third baseman. Translated, it is unlikely Chavez will play two or three straight days and the organization plans to watch his playing time.
When placed on the DL, Chavez was hitting .299 with 40 RBIs in 62 games. On the DL with a strained back since August 1, Montero was struggling at the plate with .228 batting average and 34 RBIs in 92 games.
His playing time and work load will be less, said manager Kirk Gibson prior to Monday’s game. Back-up catcher Wil Nieves will appear in more games, Gibson promised, and the Diamondbacks will not risk Montero’s future.
Last summer, Montero signed a five year, $60 million deal to remain with Arizona.
Regarding the roster moves, much of what manager Kirk Gibson discussion with reporters prior to Monday’s game dealt with Gosewisch, a former stand-out at Arizona State University.
“We were very pleased in what we saw in (Gosewisch),” Gibson said. “He is someone we will definitely consider when the roster expands (up to 40 players on Sept.1). He is very good defensively, a great attitude, and enthusiastic.”
Gibson also indicated Reno manager Brett Butler said, from a defensive standpoint, Gosewisch was the best catcher he coached.
Going forward, Gibson said Gosewisch needs to work on his offensive game. In eight games at the major league level this summer, Gosewisch hit .185 (5-for-27 and one RBI. Coming into the current campaign, the 29 year-old native of Freeport, Ill. had a minor league career batting average of .234 in eight minor league seasons.
RETURNING TO CHASE FIELD
Former Diamondback right-hander Ian Kennedy, now with San Diego, will make his initial start against his former teammates Tuesday night in Chase Field.
“It will be a little different for about a second,” Gibson said prior to Monday night’s game with San Diego. “We want to beat his butt and I’m sure he is just as competitive. He know him well and he knows us.”
When approached prior to Monday’s game, Kennedy decline to speak with reporters. Instead, he said be available after his start Tuesday night.
For his part, Padres’ manager Bud Black likes what he sees in Kennedy.
Since coming over from Arizona, Kennedy will make his fifth start for the Padres. In his previous four, the native of Huntington Beach, Calif. is 2-1 with a 3.20 ERA. Overall with Arizona and San Diego, Kennedy is 5-9 on the season with a 4.88 ERA.
“We lacked pitching depth and (Kennedy) has helped stabilized our rotation,” Black said before Monday’s game. “He’s reliable, very polished. Ready to take the ball every five days and gives us a chance to win. For me, it all adds up.”
Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said rookie lefty David Holmberg will start for the D-backs, and oppose Kennedy.
The original starter was Trevor Cahill, but he pitched four innings in last Saturday’s 12-7, 18 inning marathon victory at Philadelphia. With the seven innings against Cincinnati just two days earlier, Cahill became the first pitcher to throw four innings and seven innings within two days since the Reds’ Mario Soto on July 18, 1980 against the Mets.