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Diamondbacks Bullpen starts out 2nd Half with three more rough outings | July
After completing the first half with a bullpen ERA near 7.00, most felt that the bullpen could not get any worse in the second half. But in the first three games since the All-Star break, the bullpen has allowed 10 ER in 7.2 IP, for an ERA of 11.74. Manager Kirk Gibson has given every pitcher in the bullpen an opportunity, and so far, only Chad Qualls and Esmerling Vaqzuez have had quality appearances. Qualls pitched a scoreless inning with his team already behind 8-5, and Vasquez has made two appearances without any damage. But the bullpen has also seen:
  • Aaron Heilman enter with the bases loaded and issue two walks and a HBP,
  • Jordan Norberto allow three walks and a hit in 0.2 IP
  • Sam Demel charged with 2 ER in 1 IP (but mainly due to poor defense)
  • Blaine Boyer allow 5 hits in 1.1 IP
  • Juan Gutierrez give up 2 ER in 1 IP, including his 12th HR, leading all relievers
As a team, the Diamondbacks' bullpen has now allowed 39 HR, to lead the NL.  They also have the poorest K/BB ratio in the NL, and still have the highest ERA by far. There are still no good options ready in AAA, so the team has little choice but to stick with this group. Were there any bright spots from the first series? Well, the top of the order, with Chris Young, Kelly Johnson, and Justin Upton have all been swinging the bat well. Each homered in the series, and the trio combined for 16 hits in the three games.