PHOENIX -- A small mechanical change has paid off in a big way for D-backs closer J.J. Putz.
One day after allowing four runs against the Cardinals on May 9, Putz said pitching coach Charles Nagy noticed that he was coming set with his hands differently.
That caused Putz to fly open during his delivery causing his command to suffer. He blames the incorrect mechanics on the cut fastball he tried to master in Spring Training and use early in the season.
"I feel like shortly after 'Nags' found this little mechanical thing, things have been a lot better," Putz said. "Just more consistent within the strike zone with quality pitches."
The numbers agree with that assessment. In his 18 games since that outing against the Cardinals, Putz has a 2.00 ERA.
Putz has been even better over his past six games, tossing six scoreless innings.
"I basically had to build up to be back to normal arm slot," Putz said of the mechanical adjustment. "It's felt like over the last month, month-and-a-half, I've been throwing the ball the way I should be throwing. The velocity has come back."