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Arizona Diamondbacks Game Preview, #71: Archie bad, Archie good

After twp good starts following his return from Reno, Archie Bradley seems to have slid back into mediocrity in his last couple.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Archie Bradley
RHP, 2-3, 5.66
Zach Eflin
RHP, 0-1, 27.00
Phil Gosselin - 2B Andres Blanco - 2B
Michael Bourn - CF Jimmy Paredes - RF
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Odubel Herrera - CF
Jake Lamb - 3B Tommy Joseph - 1B
Chris Herrmann - C Cody Asche - LF
Peter O'Brien - LF Maikel Franco - 3B
Brandon Drury - RF Cameron Rupp - C
Nick Ahmed - SS Freddy Galvis - SS
Archie Bradley - RHP Zach Eflin - RHP

The first couple of times Archie Bradley took the mound after he was recalled, it was like watching a new pitcher. Against the Padres and Cubs, he allowed four earned runs over 13.1 innings, but most impressive was the K:BB ratio of 19:4. Considering he had walked more than he had struck out prior to that, it was a clear and obvious improvement. However, in the last two starts, Bradley has struggled with control, waling seven in 11.1 innings. The whiffs have still been there (14 in total), but that rate of free passes is not good - especially when you also allow five home-runs, as Bradley did. That's why in June, Bradley is 0-3 with a 5.19 ERA - and that. with a .235 BABIP.

It's a question of consistency for Bradley, who took a no-hitter into the fifth inning last time out, against the Dodgers, only to unravel and melt down quickly there. But it is worth remembering that Bradley is still aged only 23. I think there's a tendency, particularly in recent times where fans are so much more aware of upcoming prospects, to expect more from them immediately on arrival. We've seen that elsewhere, with the Aaron Blair and, perhaps most obviously, Julio Urias. If you're a well-regarded prospect with good minor-league numbers, you are now expected to be able to retire major-league hitters. But there's a reason they are different.

So, we probably need to be patient with Bradley: appreciate the good starts, and tolerate the bad ones. Hopefully,  the former will gradually become more consistent and frequent, while the latter will become rare. But it's worth bearing in mind that the greatest pitcher Arizona ever developed, Brandon Webb, hadn't even made his major-league debut at the age Bradley is now. He's not going anywhere, at least immediately. Shelby Miller will return to the rotation, but he'll replace Zack Godley, and it looks like Bradley will keep his spot at least until Rubby De La Rosa returns, and that's still some time off. I suspect the weak-hitting Phillies may get chewed up by Archie.