D-backs rookie Jimmie Sherfy dazzles, closes out sweep in Colorado
In the top of the eighth inning against the Colorado Rockies Sunday, Arizona Diamondbacks fans were getting nervous despite a 5-1 lead.
T.J. McFarland and Silvino Bracho were both warming up at times in the bullpen, and have both had their extreme struggles throughout the 2017 season. McFarland entered the game in the inning prior.
Those nerves proved to have some substance behind them.
McFarland allowed the first two baserunners on in the eighth, leaving D-backs manager Torey Lovullo with a major decision, one that could change the team’s current sky-high momentum on a nine-game winning streak.
That decision was bringing in rookie right-hander Jimmie Sherfy, who had just been called up from Triple-A Reno Saturday.
Sherfy had two innings of work to his name this season, not letting a runner on to this point. With that in mind, it was still a big spot for the rookie.
How did he respond? Sherfy would strike out all three hitters he faced in the inning (all swinging), and exuding so much confidence, Lovullo left him in to close out the ninth.
Sherfy acted like he had been in the big leagues for quite some time, retiring the next three batters with ease to earn his first career save. More importantly, he extended the D-backs’ win streak to 10, the highest mark for the franchise since 2003.
David Peralta’s RBI double in the third inning brought home the first run of the game and the next four runs for Arizona would all come via the long ball. Ketel Marte hit a solo shot in the sixth, Brandon Durry hit a two-run homer later in the inning and Chris Iannetta’s solo blast in the eighth gave Sherfy the extra insurance for the last two innings.
Zack Godley was erratic in his start, walking six batters in six innings, but gave up only one run and picked up his seventh win of the season.
The story of the game, though, would be Sherfy. For a team that has struggled to find consistency in the bullpen outside of Fernando Rodney and Archie Bradley, it’s possible they found that next guy they can rely on in Sherfy, who is playoff eligible.