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Arizona Diamondbacks Game Preview, #127: Bullpen struggles continue

The Diamondbacks bullpen since the break had a 6.73 ERA. That's not very good.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Julio Teheran
RHP, 3-9, 2.90
Zack Greinke
RHP, 11-4, 4.21
Ender Inciarte - CF Jean Segura - 2B
Adonis Garcia - 3B Michael Bourn - CF
Freddie Freeman - 1B Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
Matt Kemp - LF Welington Castillo - C
Nick Markakis - RF Jake Lamb - 3B
Tyler Flowers - C Chris Owings - SS
Jace Peterson - 2B Mitch Haniger - RF
Chase d'Arnaud - SS Brandon Drury - LF
Julio Teheran - RHP Zack Greinke - RHP

That's not just the worst figure in the National League, it is close to TWO RUNS worse than the 14th-ranked Phillies, who are at 4.75. Put another way, they are closer to the NL leading Pirates bullpen (2.78) than they are to the Diamondbacks below them. And we can't really blame the workload either: the NL average since the break is 123 innings, just 2.1 fewer than Arizona have thrown. We can tell what the issues are though. Number one would be too many free passes: the D-backs relievers have 70 walks, which is easily most in the league. The K:BB ratio is 1.71, again comfortably worst - no either team is below two.

Breaking it down to the individual level, there are two players with ERAs less than five. Randall Delgado (4.08) and perhaps surprisingly, Enrique Burgos. He may have blown three saves in the last six games, but his ERA in the second-half remains a very solid 1.96. Mind you, it was 0.60 before the start of the Padres series... Still, his K:BB ratio has been good - he has struck out 25 over 18.1 innings of work, which is a top-tier rate, even among elite closers, and that makes me think he may end up being the Diamondbacks' closer in 2017. So if he can get all those blown saves out of the way now...

The other bit of hopeful news is Daniel Hudson. Normally, you wouldn't call someone with a second-half ERA of 9.49 good news, but that's an awful lot better than the 20.25 it was after his appearance on August 2. Huddy has put together a run of nine consecutive scoreless outings, covering 6.2 innings, allowing four hits and two walks with five strikeouts. Yes, that's a precariously small sample size, but compared to what had gone before, it's a massive improvement. His previous nine outings to that, had also covered 6.2 innings - but Hudson gave up twenty hits and four walks in that time. Fingers crossed this improvement will be sustained.