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Heath Bell allows homer in fifth consecutive appearance

Jun 22, 2013, 10:55 PM EDT

Heath Bell AP

Diamondbacks closer Heath Bell surrendered a two-run home run to Jay Bruce in the top of the ninth inning that turned a 2-1 lead into a 3-2 deficit. It marked the fifth consecutive game in which Bell has allowed a homerun:

  • June 10 @ Dodgers: Juan Uribe walk-off solo home run
  • June 12 @ Dodgers: Ramon Hernandez solo home run (note: Hernandez was designated for assignment today)
  • June 17 vs. Marlins: Giancarlo Stanton go-ahead solo home run
  • June 19 vs. Marlins: Justin Ruggiano go-ahead three-run home run
  • June 22 vs. Reds: Jay Bruce go-ahead two-run home run

Bell’s ERA is now 5.02, a year after posting a 5.09 ERA in 63.2 innings. In fairness, aside from the home runs, his defense-independent stats (strikeouts and walks) are back at the same level when he was a dominant closer with the Padres. However, his fastball velocity is on a three-year decline and he no longer benefits from a pitcher-friendly home ballpark.

You have to wonder how much longer the Diamondbacks, nursing a 2.5-game lead in the NL West, will continue trotting Bell out in save situations.

The Diamondbacks bailed out Bell in the bottom of the ninth, however, as Jason Kubel helped walk off with a two-run, bases-loaded single to center against Reds closer Aroldis Chapman.

  1. flamethrower101 - Jun 22, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    You gotta figure the job is his to lose. I mean, to go out there and give up a home run five times in a row…man, that takes some serious grit.

  2. moogro - Jun 22, 2013 at 11:10 PM

    He’s fat.

    • Old Gator - Jun 22, 2013 at 11:25 PM

      Yes, he is in lousy shape. You would think that after the bollocking he took last season he would have figured that out. He’s pigging his way out of a career and doesn’t seem to have the focus or resolve to do anything much about it.

      • ptfu - Jun 23, 2013 at 1:15 AM

        When this happened in San Diego, Bell inadvertently lost a lot of weight when he bought his kids a Wii. Being a big kid himself, not to mention a dad, Heath had to play with them and lost weight in the process. In addition to that, he may have done the Wii Fit exercises.

    • tuberippin - Jun 23, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      Na man, fat. He’s just doing his best Bob Wickman impression.

  3. greenytheterp - Jun 22, 2013 at 11:51 PM

    Putz can’t come back soon enough. Middle of next week…

  4. pappageorgio - Jun 22, 2013 at 11:56 PM

    I hate to be a fact checking type…..but the Rugginao HR on the 19th was a 1 run HR and not of the go-ahead variety.

    I was sitting in the third row. He also walked a batter and allowed a hit to Stanton before finally shutting it down.

    Also….he’s a fatty. My wife (who’s not an avid sports fan) was loudly taunting him with this fact after the homer and he put two on.

  5. insidefastball - Jun 23, 2013 at 12:41 AM

    At least he is consistent

    • GoneYickitty - Jun 23, 2013 at 1:58 AM

      I love you.

  6. djjackson81 - Jun 23, 2013 at 2:19 AM

    Ya he has giving up five HR in five games straight but he also has closed his last 9 save chances outside of today’s game get over it he is just filling in anyway.

  7. sheriffpeyton18 - Jun 23, 2013 at 8:07 AM

    As a Dback fan, I can’t wait for JJ to get back! The Bell is cracked.

  8. mungman69 - Jun 23, 2013 at 8:15 AM

    He’s too fat.

  9. anthonyverna - Jun 23, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    I think he needs to talk to Papelbon. He never blows 3 saves in about a week, right?

  10. tanzkommandant - Jun 23, 2013 at 8:26 AM

    The fielding independent stats are fine for playing the game on paper, but hold little value in this instance. There’s a great deal to be said for confidence & morale when the team plays hard only to have some wide glide come in & the whole thing goes to pot repeatedly.

  11. bbk1000 - Jun 23, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy……he has been a turd since his days with the Mets…Jeff Kent without the talent..

    • dcarroll73 - Jun 23, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      bbk1000, well played, sir. As a Giants fan, I didn’t much like Jeff Kent even with the talent, and so failing even that, it should be, “this way to the Egress.”

      • bbk1000 - Jun 27, 2013 at 3:35 PM

        Yea…I know what you mean. When the Mets dumped Kent I wasn’t that ticked off knowing what a bad guy he was, but it was for the best.

        That said, he would have helped in 2000.

  12. djjackson81 - Jun 23, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    His days as a legit closer are over. He is closing games because JJ went on the DL. Bells fast ball has slowed down consistently in the last 3 season that is a fact. Not to mention he has zero movement on the pitch and really only uses his fastball. A good closer oer powers batters with power pitches Bell can not do that anymore. A good closer doesn’t walk guys and give up doubles before recording there first outs. It is very clear Bell is done unfortunately KT’s love for his past, key word Past cost the Dbacks some good money and the roster spot that could have got us 2 better arms for cheaper at that. The one move KT has made that is kicking him in the face this season.

  13. djjackson81 - Jun 23, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    As much as Bell has struggled I’m sure AZ is thankful for the saves he does have in filling in for JJ.

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