It’s getting to be crunch time for the Arizona Diamondbacks’ goal of a postseason appearance, and manager Chip Hale is looking at his reserve pitching to help get them there.
“Our bullpen has performed much better as the year has gone on,” Hale said on the Burns and Gambo show on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, “We’re going to lean on them heavily down the stretch.”
The D-backs pitchers have a combined ERA of 4.00 and the bullpen has recorded 30 saves in 48 opportunities. One of the guys Hale currently has a lot of confidence in is Addison Reed, who pitched Monday night for 2/3 inning, allowing one hit, one walk and striking out Gregory Polanco. He has one earned run in 10.2 innings pitched with 9 strikeouts since July 29 when he was recalled from the AAA Reno Aces.
“He’s pitched very well,” Hale said of Reed. “He’s had some swing and miss stuff. You talked about Cole (Hamels) not being able to put guys away, he’s been able to do that. He had a big strikeout last night with a high fastball on Polanco. That was huge. Then of course (Daniel) Hudson had that big strikeout on Alvarez and those are big moments for this team.”
Hudson is another pitcher Hale is high on, praising him for working well in his new role.
“He’s done a fantastic job,” Hale said. “He’s pitching in the eighth inning, the second-most important inning for a bullpen guy. (Brad Ziegler) has really locked up the ninth inning and Hudson’s really been the guy we’ve wanted to go to (in the eighth).”
Speaking of Ziegler, he’s notched a career high 21 saves this season, the fourth-longest save streak in the Majors, and Hale will keep him right where he is.
“I think we all keep thinking his best role is in the eighth inning or any time you need to get a ground ball,” Hale said, “but what’s wrong with having a guy in the ninth that if he has a hiccup, he can always get a double play?”
The Diamondbacks are currently 8.5 games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the NL West and 5.5 games back of the San Francisco Giants for second place.
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