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In 20.2 regular season innings for the Diamondbacks this season, Brad Ziegler was nothing short of fantastic. He posted an impressive 1.02 WHIP supported by an equally great 1.74 ERA. He also boasted a mark of 6.53 strikeouts per nine innings, quickly becoming one of Kirk Gibson's go-to guys.
In Game 1 of the playoffs, Gibson handed Ziegler the ball after Prince Fielder's two run home run. The sidewinder faced one batter, Rickie Weeks, and forced the All-Star to ground out to second base, ending the inning. Ziegler would have likely continued to pitch into the eighth inning if he was not pinch hit for in the top of the eighth.
Game 2 was a different story. After not having an outing in the regular season where he allowed more than one run, Ziegler allowed four runs without recording an out helping Milwaukee effectively put the game away.
For Arizona to come back in this series, their premier relievers like Ziegler are going to have to be dependable. Josh Collmenter is on the mound in Game 3 and he averages just above 5.2 innings pitched, leaving 3.1 innings to the bullpen.
If the bullpen, and in particular Ziegler, gives up runs, Arizona will be heading home early.