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Gibson: Pitching woes a matter of execution

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LOS ANGELES -- The primary cause of the D-backs' 4-14 record to start the season can be traced to the starting rotation.

The starters entered Friday's games last in the Majors with a 7.63 ERA, more than two runs higher than the 29th-ranked Twins.

"Just execution, pitch execution, controlling the strike zone, controlling the counts," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said of the reason for the starters' struggles. "Haven't been able to make pitches to get out of it."

When he was struggling as a player, Gibson said his manager with the Tigers, Sparky Anderson, would say the same thing to him.

"Make yourself feel better, big boy," Anderson would tell him.

So Gibson would smash his helmet with his bat and then break his bat.

Has he thought about doing that now?

"I probably couldn't anymore," Gibson said with a smile. "The last time I tried to throw a helmet, it bounced straight back and hit me between the eyes. That's how good I was going."

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.

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