A former D-backs starter is getting the nod on Sunday.
With the back end of the starting rotation battling injury, the Arizona Diamondbacks are giving Archie Bradley the start in the series finale against the Nationals.
The decision was announced following the team’s 10-3 over Washington on Saturday afternoon.
“We feel like he’s been throwing the ball really well,” manager Torey Lovullo told reporters after the game. “I think he’s in a different space, he’s thrown the ball extremely well as of late and I’ve talked to him about changing roles.”
Lovullo added that Bradley will be on a pitch count, though he’s not sure as to what that will look like just yet.
“I’m on a pitch-to-pitch basis. I’m not looking into it, not trying to be a starter again or anything like that,” Bradley said of the start. “I’m not looking ahead of it, just trying to get the first batter of the game out and go from there.
“It’s starting the game, setting the tone and it starts with the first batter.”
Bradley takes over in the rotation for starter Luke Weaver, who’s on the 10-day IL with a right forearm strain.
In 29 games played in relief this season (31.2 innings), Bradley sports a 4.26 ERA to go along with 40 strikeouts and 17 walks. He’s 2-3 on the year.
“It’ll be fun,” shortstop Nick Ahmed told reporters. “I don’t know how long he’ll throw, maybe two innings or so, but it’ll be fun.”
The last time Bradley started a game was back in 2016.
The pitcher finished the season going 8-9 in 26 starts (141.2 innings pitched), with a 5.02 ERA and 143 strikeouts. Bradley tied Robbie Ray for second on the team in wins that year, trailing only Zack Greinke’s mark of 13.
His last game as a starter resulted in a 9-5 win over the San Diego Padres as the pitcher went 7.0 innings, allowing just seven hits and two earned runs.
The move may come as a bit of a surprise to some as former starter Zack Godley has improved as of late since being demoted to the bullpen, but there’s a reason behind the decision.
“The way Zack Godley’s throwing the ball, it’s not fair to him to keep moving him around,” Lovullo said of Godley.
Winning seven of the last nine road games, the D-backs will look to end the 10-game road trip on a high note.
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