D-backs’ Torey Lovullo relies on best matchups for the bullpen

Sep 7, 2018, 11:43 AM | Updated: 11:46 am
Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Brad Boxberger (31) pitches against the Texas Rangers during th...
Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Brad Boxberger (31) pitches against the Texas Rangers during the ninth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
(AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo expressed that he is using his bullpen in a different way strategically.

He showed that in Thursday night’s 7-6 loss to the Atlanta Braves in extra innings.

D-backs closer Brad Boxberger was pulled in the 10th after he loaded the bases on two hits and a walk with two outs. Yoshihisa Hirano entered the game following Boxberger’s exit and gave up what was ultimately the winning run for the Braves on a wild pitch.

Despite Lovullo’s decision to pull Boxberger for a second straight appearance, he still believes in his closer.

“I trust him and he’s going to get some opportunities to close out some games,” Lovullo said on Thursday.

“We’re just going to take a different path every now and then.”

The path is clear to Boxberger.

“(It) looks like we’re going to play matchups from here on out,” he said.

In 48 innings pitched this season, the 30-year-old right-hander has 31 saves and six blown saves. In 15 appearances since the All-Star break, Boxberger has converted seven of nine save opportunities and a 6.39 ERA.

Boxberger exited the game Thursday night before facing Braves left-handed outfielder Ender Inciarte following three right handers who reached base in Dansby Swanson, Tyler Flowers and Ronald Acuna Jr.

“I felt good about the matchups with him and then once we got that hitter (Inciarte), I felt like (with) the matchup (it) was time to hand it over to Yoshihisa,” Lovullo said.

“I just felt like a fresh arm and a fresh situation was going to give us an opportunity to get out of that inning. Now was it the right move? Clearly it wasn’t, we lost the game.”

Boxberger was more frustrated with his own performance than Lovullo’s decision to pull him, and expressed that he “couldn’t get the job done.”

“I had ample opportunities to get guys out before that, so this one’s on me for sure,” Boxberger said.


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Diamondbacks

General view of action as starting pitcher Merrill Kelly #29 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches ag...
Austin Scott

2023 MLB Draft Combine is coming to Chase Field

The third installation of the MLB Draft Combine will take place at Chase Field, showcasing over 300 draft-eligible players.
24 hours ago
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley points to a teammate after the team's 3-2 victory over ...
Arizona Sports

The Ain’t No Fang Podcast: D-backs should reunite with Archie Bradley, Andrew Chafin

Going into the offseason, one of the top priorities for the Arizona Diamondbacks was to improve the bullpen.
24 hours ago
The Arizona Diamondbacks agreed to a jersey logo patch advertisement with Avnet. (Photo courtesy Ar...
Kevin Zimmerman

Diamondbacks add jersey patch ad featuring tech company Avnet

Technology company Avnet has agreed to a deal to have its logo featured as a jersey patch on the uniforms of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
24 hours ago
An overhead view of the Oakland Athletics and Arizona Diamondbacks as they stand for the national a...
Arizona Sports

Diamondbacks release 2023 spring training broadcast schedule

The Arizona Diamondbacks begin spring training in 2023 with a Saturday, Feb. 25, split-squad day against the Rockies and A's.
2 days ago
Jandel Gustave #31 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins in the fif...
Arizona Sports

Diamondbacks reportedly agree with RHP Jandel Gustave on minor-league contract

Right-handed reliever Jandel Gustave has agreed with the Arizona Diamondbacks on a minor-league contract, reports FanSided's Robert Murray.
3 days ago
Corbin Carroll #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks high fives teammates after defeating the Philadelphia...
Alex Weiner

D-backs get 4 prospects on MLB’s top 100 list, headlined by Corbin Carroll

The Diamondbacks were one of two teams with three prospects on the top 15 of MLB Pipeline's top 100 prospects list for 2023. 
7 days ago
D-backs’ Torey Lovullo relies on best matchups for the bullpen