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Arizona Diamondbacks Game Preview, #77: The A-bullpen wheezes

Who will survive, and what will be left of them?

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Shelby Miller
RHP, 2-6, 6.36
Jorge De La Rosa
LHP, 4-4, 7.17
Jean Segura - 2B Charlie Blackmon - CF
Michael Bourn - CF DJ LeMahieu - 2B
Paul Goldschmidt - 1B Nolan Arenado - 3B
Yasmany Tomas - RF Carlos Gonzalez - RF
Welington Castillo - C Trevor Story - SS
Peter O'Brien - LF Daniel Descalso - 1B
Brandon Drury - 3B Brandon Barnes - LF
Nick Ahmed - SS Tony Wolters - C
Shelby Miller - RHP Jorge De La Rosa - LHP

This road-trip has been a resounding success: our record is 7-1, with two games left to play. But it has been a very tough stretch of work, in particular for the front end of our bullpen. Tyler Clippard, Daniel Hudson and Brad Ziegler. This is in part the result of there being so many close games, which have led to Chip Hale leaning heaving on "his guys". Only the opening game in Philadelphia was a blow-out: since then, all but one of the six subsequent wins have involved save situations for Ziegler or Hudson. Here's the workload for everyone in the 'pen over the eight games thus far.

17th 18th 19th 20th 21st 22nd 23rd 24th
Jake Barrett 5 7
Andrew Chafin 8 9 10
Tyler Clippard 19 3 12 15 10
Josh Collmenter 4
Randall Delgado 9 11 35
Zack Godley 11 21 25
Daniel Hudson 8 10 13 15 13
Brad Ziegler 8 10 9 24 12

That's a brutal pattern of usage for the A-bullpen: five of six games for Clippard and Hudson, five of seven for Ziegler. One wonders if this plays into Hudson's struggles the past couple of nights - he'd never before pitched four times in five days, never mind five of six. Though as we noted, historically he has also always been awful at Coors, it's probably not quite how I would choose to use a double Tommy John survivor. But the plus side is, most of the relief outings have been short. with only a handful of the bullpen appearances on the road-trip lasting longer than 15 pitches.

For tonight, Barrett, Collmenter and Silvino Bracho, up to replace Godley, will probably be the go-to guys, almost regardless of the situation. It's a shame Collmenter had to come into the game last night, especially as he ended up throwing only four pitches. He hadn't pitched since the 14th, but I imagine if Miller has a short outing tonight., we'll probably rely on Colly's rubber arm for some length. We just need to see what Shelby does against a line-up of competent hitters: he's shown the ability to get out Phillies and Braves - just not so much, anyone above that. He may end up hung out there for six tonight, taking one for the team.