Found July 22, 2013 on
Fox Sports Arizona:
PHOENIX -- When the Diamondbacks parted for the All-Star break, one of their stated goals was determining a bullpen configuration. They came out of it with Brad Ziegler as the closer.
Ziegler was given the D-backs' only save opportunity in the first four games following the break, and he converted it while giving up an unearned run in the ninth inning of a 3-1 victory over the Giants on Sunday.
"Kind of make my decision as it goes on within the game," manager Kirk Gibson said of identifying his closer, "although I did tell 'Ziggy' the other day I was thinking he would be that guy. That's kind of where I am right now.
"But if we're in the eighth inning and we've got two outs or one out and the bases are loaded, who is the best player on our team for that situation? It's Brad Ziegler. Bring him in and hope he gets the double-play ball, and maybe he goes out and throws the ninth."
The D-backs have 19 failed save conversions, tied with the Cubs for the most in the majors, and Gibson went into closer-by-situation mode after Heath Bell failed to hold a 5-4 lead in the ninth inning of a 7-5, 14-inning loss to the Dodgers on July 10. Bell, Putz and setup man David Hernandez have five blown saves apiece.
Ziegler saved two games against the Brewers and Hernandez had one in the final series before the All-Star break.
"I think, ideally, if everybody is pitching well, then I'm not our closer," Ziegler said. "J.J. is the guy or Heath is the guy or David is the guy. Their style of pitching is better suited for that role. I'm better suited to come in with runners on base.
"At the same time, when those guys are struggling and they feel I'm the best guy for that spot, I'll jump in there and try to get three outs. If everybody had been pitching well from the start of the season, I never would have gotten a save opportunity."
Ziegler, 4-1 with a 2.38 ERA, got his first save in a 5-4, 15-inning victory over the Mets on July 4, when he was the last reliever available. He has given up only two homers this season -- Hernandez and Bell have given up eight apiece -- and he has developed a changeup to attack left-handed hitters. Lefties are hitting only .222 against Ziegler after hitting over .300 against him in his first five seasons.
"My changeup has been a lot better, but a lot of it is executing fastballs. Focusing on keeping the ball down. When I elevate it a little bit, lefties can elevate that pitch a little better," Ziegler said.
"It (the changeup) is something I worked really hard on in the offseason and spring training. Even in spring training, I was throwing it when it wasn't a good time to throw it, just because I wanted to keep throwing it. The results are finally starting to come to where I am extremely confident."
Ziegler also is among the best setup men in the NL. He has permitted only seven of his 37 inherited runners to score, among the best ratios in the majors.
"Right now I can prepare to throw the ninth inning. If that changes, they'll tell me, and I'm back to where I was before -- stretch in the fifth inning and see what happens after that," he said.
Follow Jack Magruder on Twitter
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Brad Ziegler converted his third consecutive save for the Diamondbacks on Sunday and now the 33-year-old will serve as the teams closer for the foreseeable future.
The side-arming Ziegler holds a 2.58 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP on the season.
Entering this season Ziegler had 19 saves, including 11 during his rookie season in 2008.
A key to the fate of the 2013 Diamondbacks will be how Trevor Cahill’s return from injury goes. The 25-year-old had two outstanding months to open the season, but was hurt on the hip on June 19 on a comebacker to the mound. He came out of that game, but threw in two more starts, surrendering six runs in each, leading to a sky-high 4.66 ERA. Cahill threw in the bullpen Tuesday and...
In an expected move, the Diamondbacks sent down Eury De La Rosa, calling up Tyler Skaggs to make Monday night’s start against the Cubs. De La Rosa was pretty solid in the bullpen, going 2 1/3 innings of scoreless ball, striking out three.
PHOENIX -- When you're in an offensive funk, you try things, Kirk Gibson said before Tuesday's game.New things.If the timing is right and something sparks, the way Sean Burroughs' unexpected home run in Washington did two years ago, you are off and running."Get your mojo back," Gibson said, "and you are on your way."The D-backs took a step in that...
The Arizona Diamondbacks' dormant offense broke out Tuesday night.
A.J. Pollock doubled, tripled and drove in three runs, and Patrick Corbin scattered four hits over six innings to help the Diamondbacks beat the Chicago Cubs 10-4.
''It's definitely good to get the offense going,'' Pollock said. ''We know we have it. For whatever reason it's kind...
It sure wasn’t pretty, but it works. The Diamondbacks avoided a sweep at the hands of the Giants Sunday in San Francisco, winning 3-1. Randall Delgado was spectacular once again, going 5 2/3 innings of shutout ball.
After a couple weeks of offensive struggles, the Diamondbacks finally jumped on an opposing pitching staff and they would go on to cruise for an easy 10-4 win over the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night in front of a sparse Chase Field crowd.
Coming in to the game Monday night, the Diamondbacks knew what the Dodgers did. It was a blowout in Toronto in favor of Los Angeles.
And this is how the first shoe fell. Today, it was announced that Ryan Braun would be suspended the remaining 65 games of this season without pay, making it the costliest suspension in baseball history, yet allowing Braun to be suspended in an already lost season just to be back on Opening Day next year. And immediately, Diamondbacks fans were angered, as if the hornet’s nest had...
Paul Goldschmidt hit a sacrifice fly and a double against All-Star Madison Bumgarner, Cody Ross added a late two-run single, and the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks held off a late rally by the San Francisco Giants for a 3-1 win Sunday to avoid a three-game sweep.
The D-backs snapped a three-game losing streak with their first victory of the second half.
Randall Delgado (2-3)...
By JONATHAN DALTON
PHOENIX -- A.J. Pollock doubled, tripled and drove in three runs, and Patrick Corbin scattered four hits over six innings to help the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Chicago Cubs 10-4 Tuesday night.
Corbin (12-1) allowed one run, struck out six and walked three for the Diamondbacks, who won for the second time in five games since the All-Star break...
The Arizona Diamondbacks finally broke out, recording 14 hits in a 10-4 rout of the visiting Chicago Cubs in front of 21,278 at Chase Field on Tuesday.
The win boosted Arizona’s record to 52-48, and kept the Diamondbacks within a half-game of the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers, who came from behind to beat the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday.
The Diamondbacks had just three hits...