D-backs bullpen continues to be saving grace

D-backs bullpen continues to be saving grace

D-backs bullpen continues to be saving grace
CINCINNATI -- The past two contests in Cincinnati haven't been ideal starts for Arizona.

The D-backs came out on top Monday night in a 5-3 win, but have surrendered multiple runs early in both contests, allowing four in the first three frames Tuesday.

But the D-backs bullpen has consistently saved the day for the struggling starters of late.

In the first two games in Cincinnati, the Reds have yet to score past the third inning.

"Our bullpen has done a good job," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "It's been really the story of who scores first."

Arizona's 1.91 bullpen ERA since June 22 is the best for any NL team and second in the Majors behind Seattle's 1.72 mark.

It hasn't been just one guy getting the job done either.

David Hernandez has not been scored upon in 10 of his past 11 outings, posting a 1.69 ERA. Closer J.J. Putz has converted eight consecutive save opportunities and boasts a 1.20 ERA. And southpaw Mike Zagurski has allowed just one earned run in his last eight games.

After a four-day hiatus for the All-Star Game, it seems the D-backs bullpen is stronger than ever.

"When you look at all of them, the four days off are a great thing," Gibson said. "At the same time most of those guys did pick up a ball and throw. The bullpen guys go from a lot of time off to all of a sudden back-to-back."

Gibson will need his 'pen at full strength as the team is in the heart of a 20-day stretch of consecutive games to start the second half slate.