PHOENIX -- Before Saturday, the last few times D-backs reliever Bryan Shaw took the mound ended in a merry-go-round for the opposing team.
The 24-year-old allowed 10 runs (eight earned) over a 4 1/3-inning stretch before he was sent to Triple-A Reno to figure things out. Back with the Major League club now, Shaw made his return a memorable one on Saturday.
With the D-backs trailing by just a run in the seventh, the right-hander needed just 16 pitches to strike out the Nationals' Michael Morse, Adam LaRoche and Tyler Moore -- all swinging -- to send his team back to the dugout with a 1-2-3 inning.
"He threw the ball very well. He used all his pitches," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "When he doesn't do that, he's not very good."
Before Shaw's demotion to Reno, Shaw admitted he lost confidence in his offspeed pitches and resorted to only throwing his cutter, a strategy that didn't work out well. Now using a changeup, slider and cutter, the D-backs are hoping he can return to his old form.
"It's one game. We hope he can continue to throw the ball like that and become dominant like he was before," Gibson said. "You have to see how his arm responds to that. He's really throwing the ball now, the ball is coming out of his hand much livelier."