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Diamondbacks SB Nation Reacts: Paul is King

The fans have spoken, and in Sewald we trust...

Cincinnati Reds v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images

A couple of days ago, we asked you who should be closing games for the Diamondbacks down the stretch. It has been a position of flux for Arizona this year: with 134 games in the books, no pitcher is in double-digits for saves. The only time that had been true on the D-backs previously was in 2021. Never mind to this point, even at the end of the year, nobody on the Diamondbacks had more than the six saves recorded by both Joakim Soria and Tyler Clippard. But that was, obviously, a much worse team: through 134 games, that team had twenty-five fewer wins than this year’s model, and certainly was not in contention for a wild-card spot.

All of the potential candidates got a good rest during the Dodgers’ series, because there were exactly zero opportunities for the bullpen to pitch with a lead in Los Angeles. The load had certainly been an issue for the likes of Paul Sewald. He pitched 9 times in 14 games, and it finally took its toll in a blown save last Saturday against the Reds. It’s perhaps significant that mop-up work in two of the games against the Dodgers went to Miguel Castro, who had previously picked up seven saves. But who should the team rely on going forward? That’s what the poll question was about, and here’s what you had to say on the topic.

Despite that implosion which cost the Diamondbacks a sweep of the Reds, fans clearly still believe in Sewald, as he received more than half the votes. It’s interesting, because his numbers as a D-back haven’t been that good: a 4.66 ERA over 9.2 innings, and an even higher FIP at 5.95. The seven walks are certainly a concern, personally. The committee approach comes in second, and I suspect that’s what we’re going to see most of down the stretch. Torey Lovullo will continue to play the match-ups, although the only left-hander to get a save this year was Andrew Chafin, who is now the Brewers’ problem (a 12.79 ERA over eight appearances!).

While we’re here, below is the result of the most interesting national poll question this week.

Certainly, in the National League, after... [gestures vaguely at Mon-Wed], it’s difficult to see anything except a Braves/Dodgers match-up in the National League Championship Series. In the American League, things are considerably more in flux. The Twins have the biggest lead, but that’s only five games, and the Guardians just got some “free” reinforcements, as they vacuumed up most of the players dumped on the waiver-wire by the Angels, so they aren’t out of it. The West has three teams within a game of each other, though all three teams would make the post-season right now. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays are currently on pace for 88 wins and no playoff spot, even in the expanded format.

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