The Diamondbacks’ bullpen was supposed to be much better than it has been, especially after the acquisition of Tyler Clippard in the offseason to go along with Daniel Hudson and Brad Ziegler at the back end. For the most part, that trio has done well, as each holds an ERA under four.
The same, however, cannot be said about the team’s bullpen as a whole. The reliever shuttle has recorded plenty of miles from Reno to Phoenix, and it seems like every pitcher the D-backs call on to help out just hasn’t gotten the job done.
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The bullpen has logged 222 innings this season, the third-most in baseball. This is an indictment on the rotation’s inability to go deep into games. But when the ‘pen is out there, they have recorded a 4.22 ERA, which is eighth-worst in baseball.
4.22 may not be the worst ERA, but the bullpen has been horrendous when it matters most. With nobody on, the ERA sits at 0.68. When men get on base, the ERA jumps to 11.40.
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Most bullpens struggle with traffic on the basepaths, and most bullpens struggle with runners in scoring position, but there are some groups that limit the damage better– and the Diamondbacks are not one of them. With runners at second and third this season, Arizona relievers own an ERA of 23.08, and they have walked the most batters in those situations. With the bases loaded, D-backs relievers have a 14.25 ERA.
A lot of these numbers are inflated because of the Diamondbacks’ bullpen innings issue, but all runs count. This is unacceptable.
This season, 40 percent of inherited runners have scored against D-backs relievers, the second-worst mark in baseball. Again, this number is way too high.
Granted, their relievers have inherited 109 runners, the fourth-most in baseball, but they aren’t getting it done, and those runs should be charged to the reliever not the starter because that is their job, and they’re on the mound.The D-backs bullpen owns the third-fewest holds (22), and have allowed 4.88 runs per game.
The bullpen has been a key factor in the team’s dissappointing start. This will need to change if the team wants to start winning games.