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Gibson: D-backs sticking with Reed as closer

Gibson: D-backs sticking with Reed as closer

PHOENIX -- Despite having blown his fifth save on his ninth homer allowed in 36 2/3 innings of relief on Tuesday night in a 2-1 loss to the Marlins, Addison Reed is still the D-backs' closer, manager Kirk Gibson said prior to the finale of a three-game series between the two teams.

"No, we're staying with Addison," Gibson said during his morning media session on Wednesday. "He struggled last night. But we had a lot of opportunities last night. At the end, it comes down to him, but it shouldn't have."

Be that as it may, Reed was brought in for the ninth inning holding a 1-0 lead, and the first thing he did was run leadoff hitter Ed Lucas to a 3-1 count before walking him. That set the tone for the inning. After recording the next two outs, Reed was one pitch away from victory with a 2-2 count on Marcell Ozuna when he served a 92-mph fastball right over the plate. Ozuna drilled it above the yellow line on the dark, green hitting eye in dead-center for the game-winning two-run homer.

"You don't want to walk the leadoff hitter with a 1-0 lead. No closer wants to do that," Gibson said. "He gave up the homer, but the walk he puts on beats you. That's tough."

On the home run pitch, Gibson reiterated something he said after the game on Tuesday night: "If you look at it, [catcher] Tuffy [Gosewisch] was set up down and away. He just missed the spot by 18, 20 inches. You ask yourself, why? How can he be more consistent, focus and hit the spots on his pitches? Still, he's our closer. You can't give him four or five things to work on when he's out there in a mental lockdown trying to execute all of his pitches."

That might be even more of a reason to let Reed work on his kinks and his decreasing velocity in another role, but Gibson isn't ready to do that. The right-hander does have 20 saves.

"I haven't even considered it," Gibson said about the possibility of moving the 25-year-old Reed. "He's our closer. He's capable of doing it and he's going to learn some lessons along the way. He's really not that old. It's not like he has years and years of experience. It's all part of it and it should make him better."

Barry M. Bloom is national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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