Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers has earned a reputation as someone who knows how to build a bullpen, though that is certainly being tested this season.
But while his relievers have combined for the most blown saves in all of baseball (26), they’ve also helped the D-backs to a 15-5 record in extra-inning games.
The ‘pen has failed — repeatedly. It has also then bounced back — repeatedly.
“We’ve got the type of team that won’t give up,” Towers told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Wednesday. “Over a period of time it wears on everybody.
“It wears on the everyday players — the extra innings that they have to be out there.”
And that doesn’t even include the amount of innings the pitchers themselves have been forced to throw, which is a number that leads baseball by a substantial margin.
Towers noted that the home run has really hurt his relievers, and it’s true. The bullpen has allowed 42 long balls this season, with Heath Bell and David Hernandez leading the way with 10 apiece.
That wasn’t what cost the team Tuesday, as the Padres used a combination of walks and hits to come back to tie the game twice in the late innings.
And sure, the D-backs went on to win in the 10th inning, but Towers would certainly rather see his team lock down leads and win in regulation.
“It’s been one guy, usually, giving up maybe one walk and a long ball,” he said of what’s ailed the ‘pen. “If we could somehow get those same guys, get them to keep the ball in the ballpark, the bullpen should straighten out.”