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JJ Putz: D-backs need to relax, pitch more consistently

Arizona Diamondbacks' Zack Greinke wipes his forehead after giving up a run to the Chicago Cubs during the fourth inning of a baseball game Saturday, April 9, 2016, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
LISTEN: J.J. Putz, former Diamondbacks closer

A morning after the Diamondbacks were dealt an 8-3 loss to the Astros, former D-backs closer J.J. Putz offered his thoughts on how the team could improve.

According to Putz, the team needs to take a deep breath.

“Losing is never fun, and you have to find a way to stay positive and have fun out there on the field,” he told Doug & Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. “I think they need to relax a little bit, take it pitch by pitch – I know it sounds cliché – but just slow the game down, at-bat for at-bat, and win every inning.”

The D-backs enter Tuesday nine games out of first with a 23-30 record and a 4.80 team ERA. Only the Twins, Rockies and Reds have worse team ERAs.

Putz noted that the whole team’s performance could improve if its starting pitching would improve. In 2016, seven different pitchers have started for the Diamondbacks, and all of them have an ERA above four.

“Everything starts with starting pitching,” Putz said. “If we start getting some consistency in our starting pitching, start taking some pressure off the guys in the field, their at-bats… it just seems like everyone’s pressing very hard right now. To a certain extent, (that’s) rightfully so.”

He also said the D-backs have a lot of time to play better baseball.

“We haven’t really hit that moment where everything starts to click at the same time,” he said. “There’s plenty of baseball left to turn this around still, and we have to just get some consistency going. We show up and look really good for two games, and then look really bad for three.”

The Diamondbacks will take the field for game two against the Astros at 12:40 on Tuesday as Patrick Corbin (4.21 ERA) will face the Astros’ Lance McCullers (4.60 ERA).

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