This season, the ninth inning is a cursed frame for the Diamondbacks.
Chad Qualls(notes) and Juan Gutierrez(notes) have obviously been awful when asked to close, and Aaron Heilman(notes) has allowed at least one run in every game since he inherited the role. (No great surprise there. He's Heilman).
Rookie Sam Demel's(notes) path to save opportunities is now relatively uncluttered. He has yet to give up either a walk or hit in 3.2 innings for the D-Backs, and he's struck out four. Small sample, sure, but Demel's minor league numbers were excellent: 1.26 ERA, 28.2 IP, 28 Ks, 6 SV. His major league appearances have been degree-of-difficulty situations, too, against the Yankees (twice) and the Red Sox. Demel faced four batters on Wednesday and recorded five outs, coaxing a double-play grounder from Derek Jeter(notes), then punching out Nick Swisher(notes), Mark Teixeira(notes) and A-Rod.
If you're speculating, Demel a solid add. Perhaps he can break the Diamondbacks' ninth inning hex; he's available in 99 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
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