07/13/12 5:15 PM ET
Busy schedule looms in second half
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
Starting Friday against the Cubs, the D-backs begin a stretch of 55 games with just two off-days squeezed in.
"This is the most crucial part of the season so far," manager Kirk Gibson said. "This next stretch, 53 games."
The D-backs play 20 straight days, have a day off, play 10 straight, have a day off and then play a whopping 23 straight days.
The 23 consecutive days with games is a violation of the Basic Agreement between the owners and players, and the D-backs are close to changing one of the games of the series with the Marlins from Aug. 20-23 to a day-night doubleheader, thereby adding an off-day.
An announcement on the change could come as soon as next week.
Either way, the next 55 games will be challenging, and Gibson is hoping that the extra days of rest he has given his starters to this point in the season will pay off with them being able to go deeper into games during this stretch.
"I'm hoping they have more in their tank," Gibson said of the starters. "They're going to be digging down."
Bauer stays in rotation, Collmenter to 'pen
CHICAGO -- The D-backs set the back end of their rotation on Friday.
After the Cubs series, which will feature starts by Ian Kennedy, Joe Saunders and Trevor Cahill, the D-backs will start Wade Miley on Monday and Trevor Bauer on Tuesday against the Reds in Cincinnati.
Manager Kirk Gibson toyed with the idea of pitching Miley during the Cubs series, but decided to give him a little extra rest after the left-hander faced two batters in the All-Star Game.
"There was a lot going, but it was a blast," Miley said. "You do kind of get worn out, mentally. I feel good now, though, I'm fine. I just want to get back to normal baseball rather than that. It was kind of crazy, I haven't seen anything like that before."
Bauer earned another start, given his performance in the final game of the first half, when he tossed six shutout innings against the Dodgers.
With Saunders returning to the rotation after being on the disabled list, Josh Collmenter will move back into the bullpen. Gibson likes the flexibility and length that Collmenter offers in the bullpen.
"That's one of the reasons," Gibson said. "We just think it's the way to go. We want to keep Trevor in the rotation. It's just the way we've set it up."
The D-backs will need to send a pitcher down when Saunders is officially activated on Saturday.
Young D-backs soak up Wrigley's history
CHICAGO -- D-backs players who were making their first trip to Wrigley Field did a little sightseeing prior to the team's workout on Thursday night.
The team held a two-hour workout at Wrigley after arriving in Chicago in the afternoon.
"It's such a historic place, but once you get on the field, you're focused on baseball stuff," first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. "We had a few minutes before our stretch yesterday, so we took a look around the park. It was cool. You know that a lot of great players have played here."
Wade Miley, fresh off his All-Star Game appearance, was struck by the fact that Babe Ruth had walked the same hallways in the ballpark, which was built in 1914.
Meanwhile, Josh Collmenter, who is from Michigan, had seen the park from the outside during trips to Chicago, but had never actually been in it.
"I'd also seen it in different movies just growing up, so to be here and get to see it from the inside is really neat," Collmenter said. "You think about how many people have come through the locker room, I mean it's almost 100 years old. You just take that all in. It's a place that's engrained in baseball history. It's just a fun atmosphere. I'm excited to see what all the day games are like at Wrigley."