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D-backs’ Lovullo still has ‘ton of confidence’ in Boxberger, Bradley

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo watches his team play the Atlanta Braves during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept 9, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)

When do the Arizona Diamondbacks say enough is enough with the poor performances by some members of their bullpen?

That’s one of the bigger questions surrounding the team in their current slump when they have dropped eight of their last 10 games.

Over those last 10 games, relievers Brad Boxberger and Archie Bradley each have an ERA of 27.00 and four of Arizona’s last eight losses are on their record.

Boxberger, the team’s closer all season prior to Monday when Arizona announced a change, has allowed six earned runs in 2.0 innings. He’s recorded six outs and had eight runners reach base in four appearances.

Bradley, one of the best relievers in baseball last season, has given up five earned runs in 1.2 innings. He’s recorded five outs and had nine runners reach base in four appearances.

With the team’s form at a new low point and every game meaning more as they fade in the NL West and Wild Card standings, when does manager Torey Lovullo no longer use the two?

The breaking point is not there yet, according to the manager.

“I have a ton of confidence in those guys,” he said of Bradley and Boxberger Tuesday on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station’s Burns & Gambo. “We’ve had this discussion with other players before — I want to believe in them until they can’t go. I feel like Archie just made some mistakes, some fundamental mistakes. It’s not that he’s tired or the velocity is down, he’s just getting hit and he needs to make some adjustments.”

For Lovullo, their previous track record is there.

“They’ve gotten big outs for the past couple years, and in Brad’s case, a long time in this game. I know that I’ll find a situation, whether it’s late in the game or it’s a big out against the right type of batter or the right matchup, I’m going to go to either one of those guys.”

Lovullo said Monday he will rely on matchups in closing situations now, eliminating the traditional closer role, but that doesn’t mean the type of situations Bradley and Boxberger are used in will change anytime soon.

“They’re the back-end of our bullpen and they’re certainly going to get those opportunities,” he said.

“I’m not gonna turn my back totally on Boxberger and Bradley and let them sit in the bullpen for the next two-and-a-half, three weeks. There’s no way I’m going to do that.”

All stats courtesy of Fangraphs

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Burns & Gambo

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