New closer Paul Sewald looks to be calming influence on D-backs

Aug 8, 2023, 5:25 PM | Updated: 5:44 pm

Paul Sewald, Arizona Diamonbacks closer...

Paul Sewald #38 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins in the ninth inning at Target Field on August 06, 2023 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Diamondbacks 5-3. (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images)

On July 31, Paul Sewald went from the Seattle Mariners, who went 17-9 in July, to the Arizona Diamondbacks, who went 8-16 over that period.

However, the born desert-dweller isn’t pessimistic about the opportunity.

“This team has battled all year and put themselves in a really good position,” Sewald said to Burns & Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 on Tuesday. “I’m just doing my very best to explain to people … we’re talking about one bad month in a span of six months. … One bad month is not the end of the world.

“I think we’re going to be fine. This stupid losing streak is going to end.”

The Las Vegas native joked that a Seattle superfan had tweeted out if he were to get traded, Arizona seemed to be the most likely place. The trade deadline was set for Aug. 1 and Seattle was visiting Chase Field from July 28 through July 30.

“I was really nervous all of July,” he said.

Since joining the club, the right-hander has only had two appearances, and they’ve resulted vastly-different outcomes.

In his first appearance with the team on Saturday, Sewald came in for the bottom of the seventh inning and struck out the side against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field with Arizona down 10-1. He struck out Willi Castro swinging, Ryan Jeffers looking and Joey Gallo swinging. The D-backs lost 12-1.

In his second performance, however, he was rudely welcomed by the Twins. On Sunday, he came in for the bottom of the ninth inning in a save opportunity with Arizona up 3-2. On the first pitch, Max Kepler hit a long home run to right-center. He would take Jorge Polanco, the next hitter, to a full count before walking him on six pitches. Ensuing batter Matt Wallner would take an 0-1 fly ball over the scoreboard in right-center to walk-off the D-backs and give the Minnesota a 5-3 win.

“I’ve been in the closer role for two years now, three years now,” Sewald said. “The other day in Minnesota was not ideal … but we’re gonna shake it and get back to work …  that’s not the way I want to start my first chance like that. We’re gonna shake it we’re gonna get back to work and hopefully by the end of the year we can forget about that game in Minnesota and we’ll still be popping champagne and we won’t have to worry about it.”

Since then, Sewald said his wife has come to Phoenix and they’ve been able to find a place and settle in.

“I think that the day off was big,” Sewald said. “My family came into town, we got settled here in Phoenix in a home, and that all is what I needed. … This is where me and my wife met.”

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