Grit Index: D-backs bullpen falters in loss to Phillies

Aug 24, 2013, 2:41 AM | Updated: 2:41 am

The scene was all too familiar for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Despite holding a 3-1 lead over the Phillies after five innings, the D-backs found themselves tied heading into the ninth.

And then it all unraveled.

Embattled reliever Heath Bell pitched himself into a bases loaded jam with no outs in the bottom of the frame, surrendering back-to-back singles to Cody Asche and Jimmy Rollins before giving Michael Young an intentional pass. Bell rallied to strike out Kevin Frandsen before giving way to southpaw Eury De La Rosa.

Manager Kirk Gibson went with the left-hander against Chase Utley, who is batting just .216 against lefties this season.

But while the move statistically appeared to be in the D-backs’ favor, it backfired.

De La Rosa surrendered a walk-off walk to Utley, as the Phillies handed the D-backs a 4-3 loss in the series opener at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

The Good:

Martin Prado continue his hot-hitting ways for the D-backs. He went 1-for-4 with two RBI on the night. Prado has hit .394 over his last seven games and boasts a .373 average for the month of August.

The Bad:

The D-backs failed to gain ground on the Reds, who lost to the Milwaukee Brewers Friday, for the second National League wild card spot. Arizona remains seven games behind Cincinnati for that final NL playoff berth.


– The D-backs bullpen had been pitching quite well before the loss against the Phillies. Arizona relievers posted a 1.59 ERA in 34 IP over the last eight games prior to Friday’s contest.

– Before Utley walked in the winning run for Philadelphia, the Phillies’ 1-2-3 hitters were just 1-for-12 on the night.

– The Phillies have now won five of their last six games, four in their last at-bat.

Up Next:

The D-backs and Phillies will play the second game of their three-game set on Saturday, August 24 at 4:05 p.m. MST. Right-hander Randall Delgado will get the start for the D-backs. He will be opposed by fellow righty Ethan Martin for the Phillies. The game can be heard on Arizona Sports 620.

Arizona Diamondbacks

Jordan Lawlar #1 of the National League throws for the third out in the fourth inning during the Si...
Kellan Olson

ESPN’s Passan buying D-backs rise, eyeing Jordan Lawlar 2023 debut

Could the Arizona Diamondbacks be much more competitive a year earlier than expected? ESPN's Jeff Passan believes so.
1 day ago
Catcher Carson Kelly #18 of the Arizona Diamondbacks prepares to take the field before the MLB game...
Tyler Drake

D-backs’ Carson Kelly dealing with forearm fracture, no timeline for return

The Arizona Diamondbacks will have to navigate the beginning of the regular season without starting catcher Carson Kelly.
2 days ago
Munetaka Murakami #55 of Team Japan celebrates after hitting a two-run double to defeat Team Mexico...
Associated Press

Japan walks off Mexico to set up World Baseball Classic final vs. USA

Shohei Ohtani sparked a ninth-inning rally as Japan walked off Mexico 6-5 to advance to the World Baseball Classic final against Team USA.
3 days ago
Tommy Henry #47 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches during the first inning of the game against the...
Arizona Sports

LHP Henry optioned as D-backs key in on final starting candidates

The Diamondbacks optioned Tommy Henry to Triple-A on Monday, whittling down their options to cement the backend of their starting rotation.
3 days ago
Starting pitcher Merrill Kelly #29 of Team USA throws a warm-up pitch during the first inning of th...
Alex Weiner

D-backs’ Merrill Kelly set up to start World Baseball Classic final for Team USA

Team USA "looks like" it will turn to Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly in the World Baseball Classic final on Tuesday. 
3 days ago
Paul Goldschmidt #46 of Team USA celebrates with Moookie Betts #3 after hitting a two-run home run ...
Associated Press

Turner, Goldschmidt lead Team USA to WBC final with win vs. Cuba

Defending champion United States romped over Cuba 14-2 on Sunday night to reach its second straight World Baseball Classic final.
4 days ago
Grit Index: D-backs bullpen falters in loss to Phillies