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Arizona Diamondbacks

Updated May 2, 2013 - 9:58 am

Arizona Diamondbacks bullpen continues to struggle

Arizona Diamondbacks' David Hernandez, right, and Eric Chavez react after Hernandez gives up a 3-run home run to San Francisco Giants' Brandon Belt during the eighth inning of a baseball game, on Wednesday, May 1, 2013, in Phoenix. The Giants defeated the Diamondbacks 9-6. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The Arizona Diamondbacks' bullpen is not the worst in all of baseball.

It just seems that way.

Wednesday night's 9-6 loss to the San Francisco Giants, which saw David Hernandez cough up two-run lead in the eighth inning, was just another instance in a recent string of late-inning failures. It was the D-backs' MLB-leading 10th blown save of the season, and third loss suffered by the bullpen in the last three games. Lately hope not only does not spring eternal, but feels all but lost. Check out Twitter for proof:

Yet, the amazing thing is Arizona's bullpen -- at least by the numbers -- is not all that bad.

Their eight wins are the most of any bullpen in the entire league. Their ERA, which is 3.08, is 13th-best in all of baseball. Seven other teams have suffered more losses courtesy of their 'pen, and D-backs relievers have tallied the fourth-most strikeouts in the game.

But, those 10 blown saves are an issue.

Closer J.J. Putz leads the way with four, and he's followed by David Hernandez (three), Tony Sipp (two) and Heath Bell (one). Now, not all of these blown saves have occurred in the ninth inning, but the point remains: the D-backs have coughed up far too many late leads. Though for what it's worth, Arizona is 6-4 in the games where a save has been blown.

Anyway, the latest loss dropped the D-backs to 15-13, which is a mark good enough for third in the NL West behind the Colorado Rockies and Giants.

There's no doubt that better performances from the bullpen would be advantageous, but perhaps first baseman Paul Goldschmidt was right when he said much of the blame should fall on the team's offense for not scoring more runs.

The D-backs are posting 4.3 per game which ranks 15th in all of baseball. It's the league average, so it's not a total disaster.

But as we've all seen, a couple more here and there wouldn't hurt.

About the Author

School: University of Arizona

When you started with Bonneville Phoenix: Fall 2008, right before Cardinals Super Bowl run

Favorite sports memory: Being at Game 7 of the 2001 World Series with my dad

Favorite all-time athlete: Larry Centers

Favorite sports movies: The Sandlot, Rookie of the Year, Jerry Maguire

Most crushing sports moment: Grew up in Arizona and went to UA from 2002-06. In short, there are too many to name just one.


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