05/28/12 5:01 PM ET
D-backs salute troops on regular basis
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
It was Memorial Day, yes, but it could have been any of the other 161 games.
"I think you guys know how we all feel here in the Diamondbacks organization," said manager Kirk Gibson, whose father served on the USS Missouri. "If you look out during the national anthem every day, you'll see the whole team out there. It's not just Memorial Day; it's every day. We all understand here that we're very fortunate to be able to do what we do, and we certainly appreciate and pray for the people who sacrifice their well-being for our freedom and liberty."
D-backs pitcher Brad Ziegler is heavily involved in supporting troops through his foundation "Pastime for Patriots." The right-hander worked along with Operation Care and Comfort to host 500 service members and their families at Monday's game.
"It's cool that they have the opportunity to come to the games, and if we can do something to show our appreciation, to me this is an easy step," Ziegler said.
Regular routine a good sign for Hudson
SAN FRANCISCO -- One day after throwing five innings in his first start since April 18, Daniel Hudson was going about his normal post-start routine.
And when you're coming off a stint on the disabled list for an impingement in your shoulder, normal is good.
"Just getting back into a routine," Hudson said. "I feel good. It feels normal and I'm trying to go about my business."
Hudson spent time this spring working on a slower breaking ball with more tilt to go along with his fastball, changeup and slider, which is tighter and faster than his new pitch.
Because his breaking ball last year was so hard, it did not vary in speed tremendously from his fastball, so it did not upset hitters' timing as much, and because it was on a similar plane to the fastball, it didn't require them to adjust their field of vision, either.
"I've been working hard at trying to bounce it on the plate with two strikes and kind of change eye levels because I've never really been able to do that with my hard breaking ball," Hudson said of the new pitch. "I think being able to show them something different will really help me out."
Hudson still uses the harder breaking pitch against hitters who tend to hack early in the count.
D-backs manager Kirk Gibson celebrated his 55th birthday Monday. Gibson was asked before the game if he had gotten any gifts.
"Not yet," he said. "Maybe a victory."
Did his players say much to him about his birthday?
"They asked me if I was 70," Gibson said.
Since coming off the disabled list 10 days ago, outfielder Chris Young is 3-for-28 (.107), and Gibson has said the club probably brought Young back a little too soon.
"It was uplifting when he came back, but it's hard to get up to speed," Gibson said. "It was a pretty significant injury he had on his shoulder. He hit the wall very hard. I think maybe he's not quite as strong as he will be."
The D-backs have made several baserunning miscues over the last several games, but that is not going to keep them from continuing to push the limits.
"It gets frustrating I understand," Gibson said of the miscues. "But at the same time, we're an aggressive team. We're going to be aggressive; don't get frustrated by it. In the end, we hope to tighten it up. We get into some games down the road that become more meaningful, we'll be much sharper at it. That's the goal, but in the process, guys make mistakes, because they're trying things, they're making different reads, they're trying to get impactful bases when we need them. That's the way it goes."
Class A Visalia left-hander Andrew Chafin allowed a run on three hits while striking out 11 in eight innings Sunday. Chafin was the No. 43 overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.