Weary starters wary of too much time off

Weary starters wary of too much time off

Weary starters wary of too much time off
PHOENIX -- When the D-backs battled through a stretch of 33 games in 34 days in August and the beginning of September, the club's pitchers admitted the long stretch took its toll on their arms.

Over the last two weeks, however, it has been a completely different story.

Entering Thursday, the D-backs have had four days off over the previous 14 days, giving their pitchers multiple extra days rest in between starts.

But while they've enjoyed recuperating their arm strength, the pitchers said too much rest can be counterproductive.

"We'll take them, but they are so bunched together and sometimes it feels like you haven't pitched in forever," D-backs ace Ian Kennedy said. "You just feel kind of sluggish. As you get your blood flowing, you start feeling normal again, but all the off days get us out of rhythm sometimes."

Even though they might not like all the extra rest, the D-backs starters have flourished over this stretch on the mound, tallying six quality starts in the last seven games and boasting a combined 2.65 ERA.

"I believe that it has helped them, but it conflicts with one side of their brain," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "Those guys like to pitch every fifth day because they like to pitch. It's part of their routine, they want to throw as many innings as they can. It's more fun being on the hill, let's face it."

Moving forward, the D-backs play every day the remainder of the regular season, so the pitchers will go back to throwing every fifth day.

"My body isn't used to that now, I'll probably do a little less in between starts," D-backs right-hander Trevor Cahill said. "It kind of throws off your rhythm. It's hard to switch back and forth."