For the first time all season Arizona Diamondback J.J. Putz entered the game with a lead and didn’t close it out. He gave up a home run to Florida Marlin John Buck that tied the game at five.
Putz has been spectacular for the D-backs this season, entering Wednesday’s game a perfect 16 for 16 in save opportunities.
Buck was the first hitter Putz faced in the inning. As a competitor, when something happens to you that hasn’t happened all season, one would think it could be difficult to refocus.
Not on this night. Putz retired the next three hitters and let the offense go to work.
“For J.J. Putz to get on top of that emotion, to settle down and do his job under all that pressure, under all that scrutiny,” Sports 620 KTAR’s Ron Wolfley said on Doug & Wolf Thursday morning. “Can you imagine letting down how many thousands of people, not just there at Chase Field but people that were watching the game on television? Do you not think he knows this? He’s not impervious to it.
“That by far and away was the most impressive thing I saw [Wednesday] night, including the Diamondbacks scoring in the bottom of the ninth to win.”
That they did. A broken bat single by Justin Upton scored Willie Bloomquist and the Diamondbacks went home winners. They have now won 16 of their last 19 games and are holding on to first place in the NL West.