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Updated May 2, 2013 - 3:09 pm

D-backs bullpen has been bad, but we've seen far worse

If you were tooling around Twitter Wednesday night when San Francisco's Brandon Belt clubbed a three-run homer off of D-backs reliever David Hernandez (or really any time in the last week or so), you'd think the world was coming to an end for Arizona baseball fans.

Okay, okay, it's been bad. The Diamondbacks' relief corps has blown 10 save opportunities in the first 28 games.

I've heard people say things "this is the worst bullpen ever." Step away from the hyperbole, people.

How quickly we forget what a true relief pitching dumpster fire looks like. Does anybody remember 2010? I know we've all tried to suppress the painful memories of that season, but let's be strong and revisit things. Let's compare the two bullpens to the same point in the season, shall we?

Bullpen INN HITS RUNS EARNED
RUNS
WALKS STRIKEOUTS HOME RUNS RECORD ERA SAVES
2010- Boyer, Gutierrez,
Heilman, Howry, Mulvey,
Norberto, Qualls, Rosales,
Stange, Vasquez
82.1 89 62 60 44 64 17 4-7 6.56 6 of 12
.500
2013 - Collmenter, Hernandez,
Putz, Reynolds, Sipp, Ziegler
90.2 76 31 31 31 92 12 8-5 3.08 8 of 18
.444

I know what you're thinking -- "thanks for conjuring up memories about Leo Rosales and Kevin Mulvey that I've had buried in the far reaches of my mind for three years, Vince."

Sorry. I had to do it to make my point.

Even though the '13 D-backs have blown 10 saves, they're still 6-4 in those games. I guess there is something to this whole 'grit' mantra, huh?

In comparison, the 2010 bullpen blew saves in five of Arizona's first 28 games (one game featured two blown opportunities) and went 1-4 in those contests. Yeah, that team wasn't gritty. Or good.

The point is, the results can't be much worse than they've been for J.J. Putz, David Hernandez and Heath Bell.

But I still feel good about that trio moving forward -- their combined 3.01 ERA in Sedona Red is pushing me in that direction.

I'm not proclaiming that the Diamondbacks will win the National League West.

But I also don't believe a bad stretch by proven big league relievers in April will prevent them from being in the thick of the race in August and September.

About the Author


School: Arizona State University

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: October 2011

Favorite sports memory: Watching Cardinals win NFC Championship over Philly in January 2009 with my Dad...ASU wins 1987 Rose Bowl...Suns defeat Lakers in 1990 NBA Playoffs...2001 World Series

Favorite all-time athletes: Don Mattingly, Jeff Hornacek, Walter Davis, Anquan Boldin

Favorite sports movies: Friday Night Lights, The Natural, Hoosiers

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