Diekman struck out two batters as part of a perfect seventh inning Sunday in the Diamondbacks' 2-0 loss to the Rockies. Diekman had been charged with at least one run in all but one of his last six appearances out of the bullpen, so his perfect frame Sunday may have helped him regain some confidence heading into the season's final week. The lefty has been one of several key relievers for Arizona who have fallen on hard times in September, with his downturn in performance along with those of Brad Boxberger, Archie Bradley and Andrew Chafin proving damaging to the Diamondbacks' hopes for a playoff spot.
Diekman gave up one run on one hit and a walk over an inning of relief Sunday in the Diamondbacks' 9-5 loss to the Braves. The Diamondbacks held a 4-2 lead heading into the top of the eighth inning before the bullpen squandered that advantage. Diekman was the first reliever to cave, though he at least limited the damage to one run while working the eighth, allowing him to come away with his second hold as a member of the Diamondbacks. Closer Brad Boxberger then went on to blow the save in the ninth and take his third loss in four appearances, raising further questions about his security at the back of the bullpen. Even if manager Torey Lovullo opts to make a change at closer, it would likely be Yoshihisa Hirano that gets the first crack at the gig rather than Diekman.
Diekman tossed a scoreless seventh inning Friday in a 9-4 win over the Padres. Aside from a blowup against the Phillies on Aug. 7, Diekman has been as good as advertised since the Diamondbacks acquired him from the Rangers on July 31. The lefty has kept the opposition off the board in his other five appearances with the club and has retired five of the last six hitters he's faced via strikeout.
Diekman was traded from the Rangers to the Diamondbacks on Tuesday in exchange for Wei-Chieh Huang and a player to be named later, Robert Murray of The Athletic reports. There was a chance that if Diekman hadn't been traded, he would have competed for saves down the stretch in Texas, but that is now out the window. Brad Boxberger is the established closer in Arizona, and Archie Bradley and Yoshihisa Hirano are also likely ahead of Diekman on the depth chart. The hard-throwing lefty has a 3.69 ERA, 1.38 WHIP and 48:23 K:BB in 39 innings this season.
Diekman allowed a run on two hits but still picked up his second save Wednesday against Kansas City. Diekman gave up a home run right away to Mike Moustakas, but managed to get out of the inning with the help of a caught stealing to end the game. Closer Keone Kela had recorded saves in consecutive games and three of the past four nights heading into Wednesday, and Kela should be expected to slide right back into the closer's role for Texas's next game Friday should the Rangers encounter another save situation.