The Arizona Diamondbacks bullpen experienced a late-game hiccup for the second straight night on Tuesday against the San Francisco Giants.
After giving up a two-out, two-run single to Brandon Belt in the eighth inning on Monday night that led to a 6-4 loss, the ‘pen rolled over again, only this time in the ninth.
D-backs starter Trevor Cahill was having arguably his best start of the year, allowing just four hits and one earned run through eight shutout innings.
Manager Kirk Gibson pulled Cahill for closer J.J. Putz after his starter allowed an Angel Pagan single to start the ninth, though Putz had already blown an MLB-leading three saves this season.
Putz struck out Marco Scutaro and Buster Posey in the ninth, but it was the 439-foot, two-run blast by Pablo Sandoval in between them that resulted in a 2-1 loss for Putz and the D-backs.
“It just seems like every time I leave one of those (splitters) up it’s getting crushed right now,” Putz said. “It’s very frustrating.”
“I made some good pitches on Scutaro, some good pitches on Posey, but the one that Pablo … it just didn’t come out of my hand.”
Gibson felt Cahill threw a gem, but was confident turning the ball over to his closer in the ninth.
“You got to play it out,” Gibson said. “You got a closer, you’re going to go to him (and) expect him to do his job.”
That job hasn’t been done up to par, as the blown save made it four for Putz and nine for the D-backs bullpen — also the most of any team in the MLB by three.
Cahill was looking for his second consecutive victory after an 0-3 start to the season.
While he may not have been happy about the result, Cahill knows he’ll turn the ball over to Putz again, and trusts he’ll get the job done.
“I gave him a pat on the back,” Cahill said. “He’s not trying to give it up right there. He’s doing everything he can. He’s going to close it out more times than not, so same situation next time, I’ll give him the ball and I’m sure he’ll shut it down.”