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Snake Bytes 9/12: Arizona Survives Bullpen

Two games into the pivotal series with the Rockies, the Diamondbacks are still only 2.5 games out of first place, despite bullpen woes.

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Arizona Diamondbacks v Colorado Rockies Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Arizona 6, Colorado 3

Zack Greinke just keeps doing his thing. THis time he gave the team 20 outs, surrendering only three runs. Andrew Chafin came in and promptly walked two batters, threatening to surrender Arizona’s one-run lead. Brad Ziegler was then called upon and was able to stop the bleeding. He was followed by Jake Diekman, who only threw two pitches, both of which resulted in hits. This put Yoshi Hirano in a tough spot. However, the former NPB closer came in and flashed his stuff and slammed the door shut on Colorado’s rally bid.

Diamondbacks Trim Colorado’s NL West Lead

The Diamondbacks scored multiple runs in three different innings. Players not named Goldschmidt stepped up to produce. Yoshihisa Hirano closed the game like a polished, veteran closer, striking out Ian Desmond and Chris Iannetta before getting Charlie Blackmon to fly out harmlessly to Pollock in center. The Diamondbacks now sit only 2.5 games out of first and still have five more games against Colorado.

Bullpen Manages to Hold Lead, Marte Clutch

Torey Lovullo has been shaking things up to try and get his team out of its recent funk. On Tuesday, the team responded with success. Ketel Marte made the most of his now-curtailed starts to come through with a clutch hit that put the Diamondbacks up for good. The revamped bullpen, despite two pitchers giving Colorado ample opportunity to steal the game, managed to keep it together and lock down a win in a must-win situation.

Boxberger Taking Closer Switch in Stride

Brad Boxberger was among the least surprised that he was removed as the team’s designated closer.

“It’s definitely not surprising, the way I’ve been throwing and not finishing games out. Something has to change.”

Hazen Supports Lovullo’s Handling of Pitching Staff

All season long, Torey Lovullo has had a less than ideal situation to work with when it has come to managing his pitching staff. Arizona’s GM, Mike Hazen, sees Lovullo’s work and feels his skipper has put the pitchers in the best position to succeed, regardless of the eventual outcomes.

Time Running Out for Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks went into Colorado trailing the Rockies by only 2.5 games for the NL West crown. Despite a rough stretch of games over the previous two weeks, the Diamondbacks remain in control of their destiny. That destiny will be decided in fewer than 20 games though. If Arizona wants to see October baseball, they are going to need to find their May mojo sooner, rather than later.

Diamondbacks Playoff Tracker

Arizona remains in third in the NL West, only 2.5 games off the pace with five games left against the Rockies and three against the Dodgers.