Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz has converted 21 of 24 save opportunities on the season, giving the team a dominant pitcher to finish off games.
Sporting an ERA of 2.65, Putz has struck out 32 hitters in 34 innings of work, giving up just 11 runs (10 earned) this season.
Need to hold a lead? He’s your guy. Any other situation, though, Kirk Gibson may want to find a different pitcher.
Putz, in non-save situations, has given up 6 earned runs in 10 innings of work. Three of those runs came when Putz was asked to keep a game tied.
Putz is certainly not the first closer to have trouble pitching effectively when not trying to close out a game. Certain pitchers are at their best when trying to secure the final three outs, and that Putz is one of them is not necessarily cause for concern.
Especially if he continues to get those final three when called upon.