This is probably where the most questions lie. Do you put one or two starters in the pen? Do you keep all three lefties? Who gets the crack at the closer duties in a one-run game?
I think I have come up with an initial relief core that involves nine pitchers. Here it is!
Emergency Starter: Zack Godley
Long Man: Patrick Corbin
Seventh Inning: David Hernandez
Eighth Inning: Archie Bradley
Closer (?): Fernando Rodney
Lefty specialists: Jorge De La Rosa + Andrew Chafin
I do not think Jake Barrett or J.J. Hoover deserve spots. Silvino Bracho and Braden Shipley are in the same category. I also think you need to have at least two emergency starters. Both Godley and Corbin can also pitch in long relief depending on match ups.
I contemplated giving the seventh inning to Sherfy, but I do not know if I trust a rookie in a playoff game. He has pitched lights out since being called up and has handled pressure extremely well, but I still have my doubts.
Other than a blowup in a recent appearance, Hernandez has pitched well for the D-backs. 10 of his last 12 appearances have been scoreless, and he owns a 2.63 ERA in his last 42 games since May 30.
T.J. McFarland ability to get ground balls will be key. Andrew Chafin has struggled in the second half, but he does a great job with inherited runners, and he has had success against Charlie Blackmon. That could prove key late in the game.
Jorge De La Rosa leads all N.L. relievers with a 3.1 inherited runners percentage.
You never know what you will get from Fernando Rodney in the ninth. But he has been consistent for most of the season. I have him in the closer’s role, but don’t be surprised if Archie gets the ninth in a one-run game, especially if Bradley pitches a quick eighth.
"Arizona Diamondbacks: Favorable schedule heading into October"
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