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Putz keeps focus on routine, not results

Putz keeps focus on routine, not results

Putz keeps focus on routine, not results
SAN DIEGO -- D-Backs closer J.J. Putz probably didn't remember he had blown two saves in his last two outings until asked before Friday's game. He probably didn't remember the streak of 19 straight saves he converted before that, either.

"Good or bad I don't usually remember either one the next day," Putz said. "For me, it's just about having my routine I've had all year and sticking with it, good or bad."

For the most part, it's been good for Putz, who tied a franchise record during that save streak with 24 consecutive scoreless outings. He's seventh in the National League with 28 saves and has struck out 54 batters in 47 innings.

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But the 35-year-old has struggled mightily in his past two outings, pitching to a 20.25 ERA (3 earned runs in 1 1/3 innings) while blowing two saves and picking up a loss. Though Putz wouldn't say it, his manager believes a heavy August workload might have something to do with his closer's uncharacteristic struggles of late.

"The last couple bad outings he's had ... he just made a couple mistakes and they bit him," manager Kirk Gibson said. "But we've kind of leaned on the back end of the bullpen hard, it kind of caught up to us, and we've got him a couple days' rest now -- three for him now -- so he should feel much better and be able to execute his pitches more."

Whether due to fatigue or not, there's no doubt that Putz isn't interested in why -- or even that -- his recent outings went poorly, nor that this rough patch has come at an inopportune moment: in the heat of a September playoff push.

"I do the same thing every single day. Whether big game, playoff game, first game of the year, Spring Training. My routine's pretty much the same every day," Putz said. "I think that's what keeps me on an even keel more than getting high with the high and low with the lows."

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