SAN FRANCISCO -- A rough eighth inning in Monday's 9-8 loss to the Giants notwithstanding, David Hernandez has been on quite a roll.
Before allowing a pair of runs in the opener at AT&T Park, Hernandez had not been scored on his his previous 12 appearances and had allowed just two runs over 23 2/3 innings for a 0.76 ERA in 24 outings since July 4."Sometimes you're unlucky, and so far I've been pretty fortunate," Hernandez said. "I've limited the baserunners, which always helps." What Hernandez has also done is limit the damage when he does give up a run. Hernandez had an outstanding 2011 season, but he struggled with big innings. He had three appearances last year in which he allowed four or more runs. This year the most earned runs he's allowed in an outing is three, and he did that only once. The key has been making adjustments while an inning is going on, something he recently talked to young pitchers Patrick Corbin and Tyler Skaggs about. "He was telling those guys you figure out a way to fix things in the at-bat so you can [avoid putting] yourself in a bad situation," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "I think he understands what pitches in what situations he has confidence to throw. He knows his stuff better." During Spring Training, Hernandez adjusted where he stands on the rubber, moving from the first-base side to the third-base side. "I just feel like with my arm angle, my arm slot, it makes it a little bit tougher for right-handed hitters," he said. "I face more right-handed hitters than I do left-handed, so I thought that might help me a little bit, and it's helped me so far."
Bloomquist leaves team to treat ailing back
SAN FRANCISCO -- D-backs shortstop Willie Bloomquist is headed back to Phoenix to see Dr. Chris Yeung for an injection in his ailing back.Bloomquist was on the disabled list due to his back from Aug. 11-Sept. 1 and his first appearance in a game was Monday's 9-8 loss to the Giants at AT&T Park, when he pinch-hit and singled. "It's not progressing how I want it," Bloomquist said following the game. "After meeting with a specialist yesterday in L.A., it's kind of what he recommended as well. It's what I've got to do to help speed the process up a little bit. We don't have a lot of time left. This will help speed the process up and hopefully get me healthier." Bloomquist said he hopes to be able to rejoin the team when it heads to San Diego for a three-game series this weekend, but it will depend on how quickly he recovers from the injection. "You usually have to give it a couple of days to let the medicine work," Bloomquist said. "I don't know how many days. It could be three, it could be five, if it's still hurting after that, then who knows what's going to happen. I've been wishful thinking a lot here of late and it kind of hasn't gone that way. It'll be ready when it's ready, I suppose."
Gibson is happy for Melvin's success with A's
SAN FRANCISCO -- Kirk Gibson is rooting for the Oakland A's these days.It's not that the D-backs manager has anything against any of the other teams in the American League, it's just that Gibson likes seeing his friend and mentor Bob Melvin succeed in his role as A's manager. Melvin's Oakland team entered Monday having won nine straight games and was tied with the Yankees for the second-best record in the AL. "He's awesome," Gibson said. "I'm really happy for him. He's really got those guys rolling. He's done a great job. We're pulling for him. He's very smart, understands how things work. He's a pretty good organizer of people and their psychology. He's just very good [at knowing how] to operate his guys. He's got a different personality that plays very well. I'm really close friends with him. He brought me here." When he managed the D-backs, Melvin hired Gibson to be his bench coach. Melvin was dismissed as manager by former GM Josh Byrnes in May 2009. Byrnes replaced him with A.J. Hinch in a move that was widely panned and did not result in improved play on the field. A little more than a year later, both Byrnes and Hinch were dismissed. "When Bob got let go from the Diamondbacks, he was not in a good frame of mind," Gibson said. "He was really not happy about it, as he shouldn't have been. We talked more about how do we get you onto the next spot. He sat out and he got his opportunity, and as I thought he would, he's made great progress with that club. That's just who he is."
Gibson is still undecided about how to order his starting rotation following Thursday's off-day."We did talk about moving some guys," Gibson said. "It's possible, but no decisions have been made." Triple-A Reno finishes up its regular-season schedule Monday before opening up the Pacific Coast League Playoffs against the Sacramento River Cats on Wednesday. The first round is a best-of-five series. Double-A Mobile, short-season Yakima and the D-backs entry in the Dominican Summer League have also clinched playoff berths. Former D-backs All-Star Luis Gonzalez, who serves as special assistant to president and CEO Derrick Hall, celebrated his 45th birthday Monday.