Back end of bullpen a boon for D-backs

Back end of bullpen a boon for D-backs

PHILADELPHIA -- As of Thursday, the D-backs and Pirates are the only teams in the National League to be undefeated when leading after the eighth inning.

The back-end duo of J.J. Putz and David Hernandez has been productive all season, and Bryan Shaw has been terrific since being recalled from Triple-A Reno on July 20.

Manager Kirk Gibson is starting to become conscious of the workload put on Putz and the back end of the bullpen, and he recently toyed with the idea using Shaw to close.

"Do you really go for it now at the expense of maybe getting nicked up?" Gibson said. "We want to avoid the 'nicked up' part. We want to continue to have our depth at the very back end."