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June 29, 2007 at 9:52 PM

M’s win 6th straight; post-game audio

This game turned out to be a little tougher than it looked like it would be for the Mariners, but a 5-3 win is all that counts. Manager Mike Hargrove would have prefered not to see J.J. Putz forced to notch the final five outs, but he had little choice. Hargrove could see his former Baltimore utility man, Howie Clark, off the baseball scrap pile and in the on-deck circle, so he forced Toronto’s hand by bringing in Putz and got the easy out.
“We can’t do that very often,” Hargrove said of going to Putz for a multi-inning save. “And I’ve said that before. I think it’s the fourth or fifth time we’ve done that this year and we just can’t. If we want to keep J.J. effective and rested we just can’t do 1 2/3 inning save. We have to find somebody else to bridge that.”
Here’s the full Hargrove post-game presser
on audio.
It was actually the seventh multi-inning save for Putz this season. That’s an awful lot. Too much actually. Hear Putz tell us
why. “You feel like your arm’s a wet noodle,” he says of sitting down between innings and trying to fire the arm back up again.
Here’s the beginning part
of the Putz interview. I liked his answer to the question of whether it was running through his mind that Frank Thomas had hit his 500th home run the night before. Putz got Thomas to ground into a game-ending double play.
“I wish I could ask you that question and have you stand on the mound and look in at home plate with that big monster standing there,” a smiling Putz said. “It definitely goes through your mind.
“If you say you don’t know what he’s done then you’re an idiot. I’m not an idiot, so I know what he’s done. You just really have to be careful with a guy like that, especially with a two-run lead and a guy at first. Because one swing from that guy can totally change that game.”
Jarrod Washburn felt his back stiffen up in the bullpen before the game. He said it was tight throughout, but not serious enough to affect him. He wanted to stay in at 86 pitches, but wasn’t about to argue. Hear his thoughts.
In retrospect, it’s a good thing Putz had a relatively quick inning because his pitch count started climbing in the ninth after that walk to Troy Glaus. The one thing the Blue Jays do have is true power and Putz needed all he could muster in facing Thomas as the game’s tying run.
But Putz got the double-play grounder he needed. This streak is getting serious — finally at six games and counting. Took the M’s a while.
But savor this for now. The M’s are playing good baseball. They are playing winning baseball. They are riding Putz’s arm far too much, in my opinion, and I think Brandon Morrow will have to get some things figured out quickly. He is not looking very reliable in that eighth inning role. His command is simply too erratic. This could become a huge concern. Once Chris Reitsma comes back, look to see him get some late-inning work. I’m not throwing the towel in on Morrow, but as Hargrove said, the team must find someone to bridge the gap.
For now though, the M’s put another one in the win column. They are padding that record nicely. And staying in it.



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