Sunday, May 22, 2011

Williams adjusting nicely as third-base coach

By Anthony Fenech / | 05/22/11

PHOENIX -- For all the attention that Kelly Johnson's eighth-inning grand slam garnered on Saturday night, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson thought it was only the second biggest play of the game.

"I thought the play of the game was when Matty [Williams] stopped [Gerardo] Parra," Gibson said. "

Williams' decision came with one out in the eighth, after Ryan Roberts singled to left-center and as Parra approached third base.

"It was a real smart decision," Gibson said. "Because the way the game was going, with one out and the top of the order up, he had some pressure on him with the crowd getting into it.

"If you're not sure in that situation, keep the inning going."

Williams held Parra and one batter later, Johnson hit a grand slam to right field.

Gibson said that Williams' transition from coaching first to third base has been an easy one, but one on which the former All-Star third baseman has worked hard.

"It's been very smooth," he said. "He went down to instructional ball last year, did some games there and he's studied tons of tape. He spent the whole winter in here watching not only for the third base benefit, but studying the schematics of infield defense as well.

"He's been enthusiastic about it," Gibson added. "He wanted to do it and he's been on that side of the diamond as a player."

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