I never pictured Kirk Gibson as the type who would pore over spreadsheets — but I thought he was at least comfortable with a wall calendar or a pocket schedule.
Apparently not. In a 7-5 loss to the Dodgers on Saturday night here or Sunday afternoon in Australia, Gibson seemed oblivious to the fact that the Diamondbacks would not be playing another game that counts for more than a week. Maybe the whole International Dateline thing confused him.
By the third inning, it was obvious that starting pitcher Trevor Cahill had a lost the strike zone and was in no danger of finding it soon, Gibson stuck Cahill until the fifth when he walked the first two batters. By that time, the Dodgers had a 3-0 lead. Both walked runners scored to make it 5-0.
In the bottom half of the inning, he let reliever Josh Collmenter bat instead of pinch-hitting. That raised eyebrows even with the TV guys who are on the team payroll.
What was Gibson saving his bullpen for? A Wiffle Ball game in the airport while waiting for the 15-hour flight home?
I have written before that Gibson’s strength as a manager is dealing with players, not dealing with numbers. A manager has to show faith in his players. You can’t pull a starter at the first sign of trouble. By the second sign you can. And certainly by the time Cahill worked into a bases loaded jam in the fourth — which he got out of — Gibson should been there with the hook.