Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson did not say Brandon McCarthy was essentially pitching for his spot in the rotation Monday night.
However, he didn't not say that, and given the way the veteran had performed of late it is reasonable to assume the right-hander very much needed a good outing.
"We certainly had to sit back and reflect whether we could pitch him again," Gibson told Arizona Sports 620's Burns and Gambo of the thought process after McCarthy's disastrous outing last week in Cincinnati, where he allowed seven runs in just 2.1 innings in a loss. "First of all, you've got to find out what's going on: are you healthy, number one, are you alright? There are some circumstances with Brandon and his history, so wanted to make sure of that."
Once determining McCarthy was healthy, it was a question of watching film and hoping to find a mechanical flaw that could be corrected. And, Gibson said, that's exactly what McCarthy and pitching coach Charles Nagy did.
So, Gibson watched McCarthy's bullpen session, saw a difference, and felt good about starting him Monday.
McCarthy rewarded his skipper's faith to the tune of seven innings of five-hit, one unearned run baseball. He struck out five and walked none in a 6-1 D-backs win.
"You saw everything down, a sharp cutter, good sinker, breaking ball was good, command on both sides of the plate," Gibson said. "He pitched a great game for us last night."
At the very least, it kept the D-backs from falling further back in the NL playoff picture. And, Gibson admitted, the team is always looking at ways to make the team better, and another poor performance could have led to him making a roster move.
"You're always looking to make adjustments; we're trying to win as many games as we can," he said. "We're in a difficult situation right now so everything's on the table really, in reality, in every game we play."