Ryne Nelson on his first appearance broke the record for most consecutive innings without allowing a run in his D-back debut at 7. Today he faced a much more menacing opponent in the Dodgers and delivered 6 more scoreless innings, making him this year 1-0 with 13 innings pitched and a 0 ERA.
So what went wrong this time? Another great start for an Arizona pitcher not only for a rookie but for any pitcher and then the “relief” came in. While you can point your fingers at any Arizona relief pitcher there is one especially to blame. Since the return of his injury, Kyle Nelson has been nothing short of atrocious. Walking more batters than strikeouts, usually leaving the next pitcher with bases loaded situation, getting between 0 and 1 out per attempt. Kyle is not the only reason for the pitching woes but he’s becoming the biggest issue in a long list of issue relief pitchers. The Diamondbacks bullpen is now responsible for 35 losses this year which leads all of MLB.
Arizona needs to work on their starting pitching and relief lineup over the offseason. Between Madison Bumgarner living up to his nickname of a Mad Bum with a 4.88 ERA, and Davies allowing 6 runs in 3.2 innings increasing his ERA to 4.09, Kyle Nelson not being able to return to his before injury stats, and Mark Melancon pitching a 4.98 ERA this lineup needs a major facelift.
Right now the best thing going for Arizona is Gallen and Ryne Nelson. Zac Gallen just pitched 44.1 innings breaking the Arizona record for most consecutive innings with no runs, and Nelson with his record of 13 consecutive innings but 2 pitchers can’t win every game for you.
Arizona is a very young team with a lot of contract-friendly rookies, so it’s time for the owner to go all in on pitching this offseason to give this team a shot. It’s rare that Arizona owner Ken Kendrick spends money but this team has real potential if they get another couple of good pitchers and some average relief pitching.