Manager Torey Lovullo said that he will play the matchups moving forward rather than have a designated closer, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports. Boxberger has allowed at least one run in three of his last four appearances, taking the loss in all three while raising his ERA from 3.45 to 4.40 in the process. His recent struggles have prompted Lovullo to turn to a committee in the ninth inning for now, with Yoshihisa Hirano and Archie Bradley looking like the top candidates to see save chances.
Boxberger (2-7) allowed three earned runs on three hits while only managing to record one out to blow the save and take the loss Sunday against the Braves. Boxberger entered the game to begin the ninth inning with a one-run lead but allowed the first two batters he faced to reach base before surrendering a three-run homer to Ender Inciarte. He has now allowed at least one earned run in three of his past four appearances, taking the loss in all three. Manager Torey Lovullo said Boxberger was still the team's closer on Friday night, but his continued struggles may call his role into question.
Boxberger recorded the final two outs against the Braves on Friday to earn the save. Andrew Chafin collected the first out of the ninth frame before Boxberger was called upon to take care of the final two outs in the 5-3 victory over the Braves. Despite a handful of shaky outings recently, Boxberger still appears to have a hold on the closer duties in Arizona. He has a 3.88 ERA to go along with 68 strikeouts in 48.2 innings this season.
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo reiterated after Thursday's 7-6 loss to the Braves in 10 innings that Boxberger would remain the team's closer despite turning in another shaky outing, Zach Buchanan of The Athletic reports. "He is still our closer. He's going to get save opportunities," Lovullo said of Boxberger. "He's going to be the main guy that I'm looking at to get that [saves] column filled up, all right?" Though Lovullo pledged his commitment to Boxberger, the skipper's usage of the 30-year-old Thursday seemingly didn't support his statement. With the game tied at 6-6, Boxberger was summoned from the bullpen to begin the 10th inning and retired the first two batters, then allowed a base hit, infield single and walk to load the bases. Rather than allowing his closer to work out of the jam, Lovullo pulled Boxberger from the contest and turned to Yoshihisa Hirano, whose wild pitch allowed the Braves to take the lead. Though Boxberger has taken the loss in each of his past two appearances, it's worth noting that he's exited both times with the score unchanged from when he entered the game, as the reliever pitching after him has given up the go-ahead run. Lovullo's reluctance to let Boxberger clean up his messes suggests a lack of faith in the closer, who hasn't performed well enough in the second half to enjoy a long leash. Over his 15 appearances since the All-Star break, Boxberger has converted seven of nine save chances and has turned in a 6.39 ERA, 1.58 WHIP and 6.4 BB/9. Hirano and Archie Bradley would be the most likely candidates to pick up saves in the event Lovullo eventually opts to make a change at the back of the bullpen.
Boxberger recorded the final two outs -- both strikeouts -- to earn the save Thursday against the Dodgers. Andrew Chafin was called on to begin the ninth inning with left-hander Cody Bellinger leading off the inning. However, Boxberger entered the game to face the final two batters and recorded his 31st save. Boxberger has blown six saves this season, but has successfully converted six of his last seven chances and shows no signs of relinquishing the closer role.