The bullpen is 6th in MLB in ERA (2.20) and 3rd in opponents batting average. However, in three of the last four games–with the game on the line–the bullpen has faltered. David Hernandez–among the D-Backs most reliable relievers–allowed 2 runs on Wednesday to blow a 1-0 lead. The two runs gcme on a home run by Chris Denorfia–a man with 17 career home runs to that point. Yesterday against the Colorado Rockies the D-Backs clawed back after falling down early. After scoring a run in the top of 8th to make it 7-5, Henandez immediately gave the run back in the bottom of the 8th, allowing Todd Helton to win the game with a 2 run shot off closer JJ Putz. A third reliever, Brian Shaw, took the loss on Friday when he allowed a go ahead run on a two-run double in the 8th inning–also by Helton.
While there doesn’t seem to be much for the D-Backs to worry about in the long run, they have blown three saves and lost three games aready this year–both the bullpen loses and blown saves are tied for second worst MLB so far. The bullpen has been exceptional in keeping games close while allowing the D-Backs the opportunity to get back into some games, but it hasn’t been able to keep opponents of the scoreboard after those comebacks. That’s something they’ll need to improve at if they’re going to be a strength of this team.