D-backs' Putz gets vote of confidence from Gibson
Putz registered a career-high 45 saves a season ago, and was nearly unhittable following the All-Star break when he converted all 24 of his opportunities and posted a minuscule 0.77 ERA.
This season has been a different story for Putz. He's already blown three saves, including one Tuesday night against the Dodgers, and his ERA is 7.20.
With the D-backs' deficit seemingly growing by the day (it's at 11.5 games entering Wednesday night's series finale against the Dodgers), there is some speculation that manager Kirk Gibson could pull the trigger on a change at the closer position, inserting David Hernandez as the ninth inning fireman.
Gibson squelched such talk Wednesday.
"He's our closer and nothing's changed," Gibson said. "Simple as that.
"I was just out there on the field with all the relievers. It's not just J.J."
That was evident Tuesday, when Brad Ziegler and Craig Breslow failed to record an out during a five-run 7th inning for Los Angeles that allowed them to tie the game at 6-6. They won 8-7 on Ivan DeJesus' two-run double in the 9th off of Putz.
Arizona Sports Charlie Feinerman contributed to this report
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