Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Brad Boxberger has had a disastrous month of September.
At this point, it’s hard to have a lot of confidence in the Arizona Diamondbacks. The top of their order is struggling to get on base, the starting rotation is a shell of itself, and the back-end of their bullpen is a disaster. Per FanGraphs, the D-Backs have less than three-percent chance to make the postseason this year.
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In terms of the bullpen, one guy has really been a disaster lately: Brad Boxberger.
Boxberger, an All-Star back in 2015, was one of Arizona’s most trusty bullpen arms to start the season. In turn, he was handed the closer role right off the bat. As the Diamondbacks piled up wins, they wound up as the NL West’s first-place team and were considered a legitimate contender. Boxberger, still closing out games, was a big reason why. In his first 51 appearances, he racked up 31 saves and held opposing hitters to a sub-.200 batting average. His ERA? A rock-solid 3.45 in 47 innings.
Then September came and Boxberger, other bullpen members, and the team in general sort of fell apart. Entering the month, they were in first place with a 74-61 record. Since, however, they’ve dropped into third place due to a 4-11 record in September. Their playoff chances, along with Boxberger’s role as the team’s closer, have all but vanished.
In six September appearances, Boxberger has had only one clean inning; the other five all ended with the opposition scoring at least one run. By comparison, Boxberger has just three appearances in ALL of July and August where opposing teams scored a run with him on the hill.
His ERA in September is an astounding 18.90, dropping his season mark down to 4.47. Additionally, opposing hitters are hitting .438 against him this month and he’s walked five people on top of that. He’s only struck out two people this entire month (3.1 innings pitched).
Now, Boxberger’s role is pretty undefined because of his shaky month. Unfortunately, it’s hard to see the D-Backs putting together any sort of run with Boxberger and company pitching the way they are. While I’d love to see them string some wins together, the playoffs seem like a longshot at this point.