"I've made some improvements -- made some adjustments. Starting to put the barrel on the ball. Starting to see it a lot better. Our hitting coaches here have been awesome -- Turner Ward, Mark Grace and even teammates here -- just to stick with me and stay behind me and keep instilling confidence in me, even when I was struggling. That really helped a lot."
- Nick Ahmed
After a relatively quiet series in Miami, the Diamondbacks' bullpen woes came back with a vengeance Saturday, sending Arizona to a 9-6 loss to the Chicago Cubs in front of 30,502 at Chase Field. The loss broke a five-game win streak for Arizona.
The 26-year-old went down to Triple-A and tossed 11 2/3 scoreless innings. Arizona called him up earlier this month when Archie Bradley went on the disabled list, and he's registered a 2.84 ERA in five appearances since.
Friday's performance was the culmination of an improvement in the batter's box that has been about two weeks in the making.
A.J. Pollock was out of the starting lineup Tuesday, when he sat down with D-backs hitting coach Turner Ward. Pollock was in a bit of a slump offensively coming off an 0-for-6 day on Monday and batting just .222 during an 11-game stretch. But since Pollock entered that game Tuesday and delivered a pinch-hit, two-run homer, the D-backs outfielder has returned to being a tough out for opposing pitchers.
The Diamondbacks aren't afraid to shuffle the pecking order with the floating title of closer being the latest example. But one designation that hasn't changed is right-hander Josh Collmenter's spot at the top of the starting rotation.
The D-backs weren't just running Friday night because they were facing Cubs starter Jon Lester. That's just the aggressive style that the club has been showing on the basepaths recently.