WASHINGTON -- The D-backs have struggled at times with sliding into second base, oversliding the bag on stolen-base attempts.
"We've talked about it," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "Just before Spring Training, and we talked about it [Wednesday]. All of our slides, we're on it, we're trying to get better at it."
Part of it is realizing that if the infield dirt is dry, you need to slide earlier because you will travel further, while if the dirt is wet, you can slide later because it will slow you down.
A large part of the D-backs' issues, though, seem to come from trying to slide to the outside of the base to avoid tags.
While at times that's a good strategy, it can become a problem, as middle infielders covering the bag will stand in line with the base to tag you. If you have a reputation of sliding hard, straight into the bag, middle infielders tend to step in front of the base rather than stay on it, which makes them have to reach back to tag you.
That split-second difference in reaching back can often be the difference between a runner being out or safe.
"I was a hard slider," Gibson said. "Nothing deterred me. If the guy was there, then I was going through him. Sometimes I think we try and go around the tag. We'll work on it. It's not a perfect science."