PHOENIX -- The D-backs entered Saturday winners of six of their first eight games during their 10-game homestand, and a large portion of the credit for their success is due to the bullpen's performance.
Since last Saturday, D-backs relievers have tossed 17 innings and allowed just two earned runs. Even more recently, the bullpen has given up just two hits in its last 11 innings.
"The bullpen has been exceptional," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "They've shut them down. That's what you need, especially if you're behind. You want to make sure they hold them there and give you a chance to get back in the game. It forces the other team to do some things and it evens the tables."
Part of the success is due to the club mixing in fresh arms with the relievers who have been in the bullpen the entire season. Takashi Saito and Brad Bergesen, neither of whom appeared in a game this year before July 21, have combined to throw six innings without allowing an earned run.
"We've sent some guys down and got some new arms in, and it has switched things around," Gibson said. "I wouldn't say it's been continuous with the ingredients, but it really hasn't mattered. The guys have assumed whatever role we've asked."