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Paul Sewald’s playoff transformation powers Diamondbacks closer to a World Series

Paul Sewald celebrates after striking out Trea Turner to end Game 4 of the 2023 NLCS.
Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Paul Sewald (38) celebrates after defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in game four of the NLCS of the 2023 MLB playoffs at Chase Field in Phoenix on Oct. 20, 2023.

Last October, when Paul Sewald made his postseason debut with the Seattle Mariners, it was a forgettable experience.

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To put it bluntly, the match between Sewald and playoff baseball didn’t seem to be a good fit. In his first two appearances, Sewald allowed a disheartening six earned runs in just 1.1 innings.

It was nothing short of a disaster.

However, a midseason trade changed the narrative entirely for Sewald and for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Up until the trade deadline, the Diamondbacks held one of the worst bullpens in the league. No lead felt safe, and this resulted in a team that seemed as if it was just waiting for a long losing streak to finally push them out of playoff contention.

That was until they acquired Paul Sewald.

While his first save opportunity with Arizona resulted in a loss, Sewald soon found his groove, becoming a dependable asset in the Diamondbacks’ bullpen. He concluded the regular season with an impressive 13 saves for the team.

But it is more what he has done so far in the playoffs that has allowed the Diamondbacks to prosper in October and flip the narrative upside down.

In the save opportunities where Sewald has been called upon, the Diamondbacks have held leads of 3, 3, 2, 2, 1, and 1.

Not a single run has been surrendered.

Suddenly, the Diamondbacks find themselves just two wins away from advancing to the World Series.

Which there would be no chance of them doing if it were not for Paul Sewald out of the bullpen.

He may not get the big flashy hits, but when need him the most, Sewald has been Mr. Reliable.


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