Fired-up Bradley notches first MLB save

September 11th, 2017

PHOENIX -- At 10 a.m. on Sunday, over three hours before the first pitch was scheduled to be thrown at Chase Field in a 3-2 D-backs victory, was running around the Arizona clubhouse like a madman.

With the clubhouse stereo blaring, Bradley frenetically approached teammates, reporters, clubhouse attendants, anybody who would listen, and yelled,"Do you think we're going to lose today?"

Six hours later, he took it upon himself to answer that question.

Bradley struck out the side on 12 pitches in the ninth inning to lock down a D-backs win over the Padres and notch his first career save.

With the D-backs fresh off a gut-wrenching 8-7 loss Friday in which they surrendered a five-run lead in the ninth inning, he was determined to make sure Arizona didn't suffer a similar letdown Sunday.

"On a day where I felt like we were maybe a little bit down after last night's tough game, I think Archie had a couple cups of coffee and got everything cranked up and ready to go," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "He's not afraid to do that; he's not afraid to challenge his teammates and make sure they're ready, and that came out today."

Bradley threw three straight fastballs past to start the inning, and then got swinging with a 97.9 mph fastball. With the Padres down to their final out, Bradley froze with a knuckle-curve that brushed the inside of the plate to end the game.

When Bradley struck out Blash, the D-backs broke the franchise record for most team strikeouts in a single season. The previous record of 1,318 was set by the 2016 club.

"It was definitely exciting," Bradley said. "Since I've been in the 'pen, you think about things you haven't done in the big leagues yet, and I hadn't had a big league save yet. So that was pretty cool to strike out the side to get my first one. But as cliche as it sounds, the bigger picture is that we won."

After the game, Lovullo made it clear the D-backs don't have a closer controversy and that the ninth inning still belongs to .

"I made a decision shortly after I met with [reporters before the game]," Lovullo said, "that it was a long night and stressful inning for Fernando last night, a day game and then a night game. We've asked a lot of him. It would have been four out of six [games], and I know at different times we've asked him to step into that role and close. I just felt the dynamics were a little bit different and I elected to give him the day off. It made a lot of sense to me on a lot of different levels."