J.J. Putz recorded saves in his first 16 chances.
David Hernandez and Joe Paterson had been lights out in their respective roles.
All was good.
And then the last week happened.
While people may be worrying about what has become of the once-dominant D-backs bullpen — yes, those words were combined to make a sentence — the truth may be that expectations got a bit out of hand.
“We have become greedy, our expectations are high, and with expectation comes assumption, and assuming is the sworn enemy of intensity, my friends,” Ron Wolfley said on Sports 620 KTAR’s Doug and Wolf show.
Assuming, of course, that the D-backs would win the game so long as they could get to the 8th inning with a lead. Oops.
“We have become accustomed to ‘Oh, here we…start the parade, strike up the band in the eighth inning, this one’s over’,” Wolf added. “Maybe it’s a good reminder for the D-backs; maybe they needed to be reminded of their lowly place and the lowly expectations coming into this season and not assume anything.”
Indeed, to expect the ‘pen to lock down every game may be a bit unreasonable, but what probably concerns fans are fresh memories of the bullpens of yore, where leads vanished as quickly as deficits grew.
So, while a slight regression would probably be accepted (if not expected), a complete implosion is not something anyone wants to think about.