Results tagged ‘ Daniel Hudson ’

D-backs Look to Rebound in Game 2 of NLDS

Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

By Josh Greene

Being a fan of ballparks, it’s always interesting to be able to see somewhere new.

Born way too late to have experienced the likes of Ebbets Field, the Polo Grounds, Shibe Park, Sportsman’s Park or any of the other classics that now only live on in other people’s memories and sepia-toned newsreel footage, to get to see Miller Park for the first time in Saturday’s Game 1 of the D-backs-Brewers National League Division Series was an understandable thrill. (more…)

NLDS Preview: Brewers vs. D-backs

Photo by Jonathan Willey

By Greg Dillard

The past two seasons had been forgettable ones for the D-backs, with Arizona sputtering to consecutive last places finishes in 2009 and ‘10. They fell victim to high strikeout totals and a lackluster bullpen, with the postseason being a distant thought.

Things have taken a drastic change in 2011.

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D-backs to face Giants in crucial series

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

By Greg Dillard

My how things have changed.

This time last season, the D-backs were mired the National League West cellar, while the Giants were well on their way to capturing a World Series title.

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Two of a Kind

Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson have turned into the D-backs’ formidable one-two punch

By Greg Dillard

It was a misty June afternoon as Ian Kennedy approached the tee box, taking a couple of practice swings before driving his ball down the middle of the fairway. Daniel Hudson followed, splitting the same fairway with his tee shot.

The two, along with fellow starter Joe Saunders, were playing the 95-year-old Oakland Hills Country Club course during an off-day on the D-backs’ road trip to Michigan during Interleague play.

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Starting pitching vital to D-backs’ success

Above: Josh Collmenter/ Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

By Greg Dillard

Starting pitching has been paramount to the D-backs’ success in 2011. In a division where talented pitching is abundant, the Arizona starters have matched up well.

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Roberts, Peña spark walk-off win

Photo by Jordan Megenhardt

By Greg Dillard

In last homestand’s edition of D-backs Insider magazine, Ryan Roberts was labeled a sparkplug. It was a perfect label for a player that consistently makes things happen in the field and at the plate for the D-backs.

On Tuesday, Roberts was up to his usual habits. With the score knotted at 4-4, Roberts led off the bottom of the ninth inning by drawing a walk against Indians left-hander Tony Sipp.

Roberts wasn’t about to drop anchor at first base, but instead he was soon off to the races. He quickly swiped second for his 10th stolen base of the season. Several pitches later, Roberts was in motion once again. This time he bolted toward third, reaching safely with ease.

“Every pitcher does something, and you’ve just got to wait until you see a key,” Roberts said. “When you see a key, (don’t) give it away by jumping (around) out there. Just try to stay calm and whenever I thought I could get it, (I) took off.”

All of a sudden, the winning run was just 90 feet away. Roberts was hoping to do anything he could to draw Sipp’s attention from the pinch hitter Wily Mo Peña.

“In a situation like that, the pressure is on him to throw strikes,” Roberts said. “If I can take his mind off the batter and off throwing strikes … maybe get him to balk then we get a run scored (and) we win.”

After missing on a breaking ball to start the at-bat, Peña drilled a two-run walk-off home run into the left-field bleachers to seal the 6-4 win. It was Peña’s second career walk-off homer.

“I said I was going to go and look for a breaking pitch,” Peña said. “Everybody saw the first swing that I took. It was so hard because I was looking for a breaking pitch. So the second one I said, ‘let him bring it up,’ and that’s what happened.”

Hudson firing on all cylinders

To say Daniel Hudson helped his team defeat the Indians would be an understatement.

The D-backs’ right-hander did everything he could against Cleveland on Tuesday night. Hudson turned in a complete effort by contributing both on the mound and at the plate.

In his 17th start of the season, Hudson unleashed eight solid innings, allowing just a pair of runs on six hits. Hudson retired the Indians in the second, fourth, and sixth innings. He also notched five strikeouts to raise his season total to 92.

It was Hudson’s 13th quality start of the 2011 campaign, which leads the Arizona pitching staff and is tied for third in the National League.

Hudson helped his cause by laying down a two sacrifice bunts in the game. He also laced an RBI double into the right field corner in the fifth inning. He now leads the D-backs’ pitching staff with seven RBI.

Despite not getting the win himself, Hudson was pleased with his overall effort against the Tribe.

“I didn’t have great command tonight,” Hudson said, “but I pushed through it and was able to help out and get a couple of guys in scoring position. I got a pretty good swing on a fastball.”

Castillo makes D-backs debut

Just hours after arriving at Chase Field as a new member of the D-backs’ bullpen, lefty reliever Alberto Castillo toed the rubber.

Gibson called on Castillo in the middle of the ninth inning to face Lonnie Chisenhall. The new D-back did his part by freezing Chisenhall on strike three to end the inning.  He would also earn the win, thanks to Peña’s blast one inning later.

Tuesday’s appearance was Castillo’s first Major League outing since June 8, 2010, when he was a Baltimore Oriole.

 

 

 

Weekend Notes: D-backs Take 2 of 3 from Reds

Photography: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The D-backs picked up their first series win of the season, taking two out of three against the defending NL Central Champs, the Cincinnati Reds.

With a full count and two outs, Chris Young hit a three-run, go-ahead home run off Reds reliever Nick Masset in the bottom of the eighth inning.

The D-backs trailed 5-1 early, but Stephen Drew got things going with a ground-rule double in the third, and then the team broke things open with a five-run sixth.

Ryan Roberts provided the big hit in that frame, launching a three-run homer to left-center field to cap off a five-run sixth inning that gave the D-backs their first lead of the game.

Roberts grabbed one of the final roster spots after staying red hot through Spring Training while fellow utility infielder Geoff Blum had an injury that necessitated a DL stint. Roberts has taken advantage of the opportunity, going deep twice and reaching base safely seven times in his first five games.

Hudson brilliant in first Chase Field start

On Saturday night, Daniel Hudson bounced back from a shaky first inning to hurl seven solid innings in his first home start of 2011.

“I battled (with) my command a little bit in the first inning,” Hudson said. “I was throwing a little bit too much across my body, left a couple pitches up, but other than that felt good.”

The Reds managed to put two runs on the board in the opening frame, but that’s all they would muster through the rest of his outing. Hudson cruised, allowing only one hit after the first inning. He set the Reds down in order in the second, fourth, sixth and seventh innings.

Hudson went out with a bang in the seventh, striking out Jonny Gomes, Jay Bruce and Ryan Hanigan.

“(I was) really getting locked in with my arm slot. Staying on top of the ball and driving down hill is the biggest adjustment I had to make,” Hudson said.

In his seven innings of work, Hudson scattered three hits, allowed just two runs, and struck out eight batters. He even lined a single to left field in a fifth inning at-bat, giving Hudson a three-game hitting streak.

Saturday’s outing was Hudson’s 13th consecutive quality start, which tied him with Brandon Webb and Randy Johnson for third place all time.

“He settled in nice,” D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. “Seven innings, gave up three hits, walked a couple, but he got stronger as the game went on for sure. He certainly did his job.”

Branyan makes Chase Field debut

In the D-backs’ second home game of the season, newcomer Russell Branyan received the starting nod at first base on Saturday. It was his second start of the season, the other being against the Cubs on April 4.

The slugger won a roster spot after an outstanding Spring Training performance. That hot hitting has carried into the regular season as he raised his average to .444 with two more hits on Saturday.

Branyan flashed the leather in the opening inning when he corralled a Chris Young throw with the bases loaded and one out, then quickly gunned out Jonny Gomes at third base for the double play. In the ninth, Branyan hauled in a line drive off the bat of Drew Stubbs and stepped on first base to turn the unassisted double play.

In his second at-bat, Branyan rocketed a stand up double off the right field wall, his first of the season. Later in the eighth, Branyan smacked a 102 mph fastball from Reds pitcher Aroldis Chapman into left field for a single.

“He’s tough,” Branyan said. “He’s a hard throwing lefty. You don’t see that many in the game.”

The streak continues for Montero

With his single to center field in the fourth inning Saturday night, Miguel Montero extended his season opening-hitting streak to seven games. Montero’s streak is the third-longest season opening streak in team history.

Montero is off to an incredible start to the season. He collected three hits in yesterday’s home opener, and is now hitting .500 this season. Montero got his first day off Sunday, with Henry Blanco drawing the start.

Willie Bloomquist has also strung together a hitting streak to start the season, hitting safely in seven straight games.

Friday Interviews at Salt River Fields

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Daniel Hudson – Photography: Jon Willey

In our continuing quest to bring you as much information as possible on the D-blog, here are some interviews conducted by D-backs Insider writer Greg Dillard at D-backs workouts on Friday.

Miguel Montero:

 

Daniel Hudson:

 

Kirk Gibson:

 
Here is some video of D-backs prospect Jarrod Parker throwing a bullpen session on Friday:
 

http://www.twitvid.com/embed.php?guid=XRYXU&autoplay=0

Pitchers, Catchers Have Last Workouts Before Full Squad Reports

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Photography: Jon Willey

 

By Greg Dillard

 

Under an overcast sky in Scottsdale, D-backs pitchers and catchers took to the practice fields at Salt River fields for a variety of workouts on Friday.

 

Spring Training serves as a time to work on the fundamentals of the baseball. Pitchers and catchers devoted time to bunt defense drills, comebacks, pick-offs and much more.

 

On Friday, catchers participated in fundamental drills such as rundown plays.

 

“Those are little things you got to do in a game,” catcher Miguel Montero said. “That’s one thing that help you win a game. If you are not able to do it, then you aren’t going to win any games. It’s always important to do all those plays and do the little things to help you win a ballgame.”

 

Hudson looks to duplicate 2010 success

 

After being acquired by the D-backs from the White Sox last July, pitcher Daniel Hudson was nothing short of dominant on the mound.

 

Hudson came to Arizona and immediately made an impact by posting seven wins, a 1.69 ERA, and striking out 70 batters in his 79 2/3 innings of work.

 

So far this spring, Hudson is enjoying his first spring as a member of the D-backs.

 

“I felt great, getting into the full swing of things,” Hudson said. “You’ve got position players officially reporting tomorrow, full team workouts and everything. I’m pretty jacked up.”

 

After making a bold statement with his performance last year, Hudson is eager to continue his success for all of 2011.

 

“You got to keep getting better every day,” Hudson said. “That’s what I always tell myself. Just go out there and try to replicate what I did last year. If I’m fortunate enough to even come close to that then I’m good. I’m just trying to go out there and give the team the best chance to win and try and get deep into ballgames.”

 

Baylor brings experience to coaching staff

 

Don Baylor has seen it all throughout his lengthy career as a player, manager and coach in the Major Leagues.

 

Baylor was hired this past offseason as the new D-backs hitting coach, and is tasked with helping rejuvenate an offense that struck out at a record rate last season.

 

In 2010, Baylor returned to the Colorado Rockies as their hitting coach. Under his watch, the team plated 804 runs which was the second most in the National League. Baylor’s hitters also clubbed 190 home runs.

 

“Don is a guy who’s got loads of experience as a player,” Gibson said. “He’s been a manager. He’s been a hitting coach for a lot of good hitters. He’s got a good way about himself. If you had the chance to spend time around him, you might think he’s quiet. He picks his spots. He’s not over coaching at this point.”

 

Several position players report early

 

While the first full squad workout is not until Saturday, several position players have been at Salt River fields already.

 

These players ranging from infielders Geoff Blum, Stephen Drew, Kelly Johnson and Willie Bloomquist to outfielders Chris Young and Justin Upton are here working out and getting a head start on their season.

 

Gibson said many of the position players are chomping at the bit to get going.

 

“We have staff so we can help them out,” Gibson said. “They want to be ready to go. You workout in the offseason, and then when you come to the field and you do all the elements you get really sore. Guys who have been here working out, it should help them out a little bit. They’re enthusiastic about it for sure.”

 

Hudson named Rookie of the Month

Daniel Hudson/Photography; Jordan Megenhardt

 

Sorry we’re a day late on this…

 

D-backs right-hander Daniel Hudson was named National League Rookie of the Month for August, in which he was 4-1 with a ridiculous 1.85 ERA in 43 2/3 innings. He edged out, among others, teammate Barry Enright who was 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA.

 

One thing that Hudson did exceptionally well through the month was get himself into 0-1 counts and throw a high percentage of his pitches (66 percent) for strikes. It’s a trait he shares with Enright, actually, who threw 63 percent of his pitches for strikes in August.

 

Hudson has been nothing short of sensational for the D-backs since being acquired from the Chicago White Sox for Edwin Jackson at the July 31 trading deadline. He was a serious contender for NL Pitcher of the Month also, an award that ended up going to Tim Hudson of the Atlanta Braves.

 

Baltimore Orioles lefthander Brian Matusz, a Phoenix native who attended Cactus Shadows High School in Cave Creek, was the American League Rookie of the Month.

 

 

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