09/07/12 10:15 PM ET
Putz keeps focus on routine, not results
By Chelsea Janes / MLB.com
"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.
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."
Young limited to pinch duties after testing quad
SAN DIEGO -- D-Backs center fielder Chris Young put his strained left quad to the test with some sprinting before Friday's game with the Padres -- and it didn't pass.
"Tried to run today, wasn't right yet," Young said.
Young initially felt the quad "grab" in Monday's game against the Giants. He left the game in the eighth inning and hasn't played since. Initially, the D-Backs thought Young might miss just a few days and be aided in a quick return by Thursday's off-day. But Friday's workout has the 29-year-old's return to the outfield postponed indefinitely.
"I went out there to watch him," manager Kirk Gibson said. "Jogging was fine, then I saw when he went to go sprint and put strain on it I think he felt a grab. So he's going to let it calm down a little bit, get him some treatment. Then we'll take him out, see how far he can go and give him an idea of where he's at."
Young is certainly doing all he can to ensure his next try goes better.
"Just been working out all day right now," Young said. "Anytime you tweak something, the days are different. You're in the training room pretty much all day trying to get it right. ... I'm just going to continue to get in the training room and do everything I can do."
What Young can do is not completely limited to training-room work. He said there was "no doubt" he is able to pinch-hit with the injury, and his manager agreed that the injury would not hinder Young from potentially playing at least a small role in this weekend's series.
"He can hit. He's certainly available off the bench. He can run, he just can't run how CY runs," Gibson said. "So he's just going to have to be disciplined when it comes to that. There's certain guys I would match him up against. ... He'd be up there to get something and drive the ball and jog to the base where I can pinch-run for him."
And while the ability to take an at-bat even while injured is serving as some consolation to Young, he was visibly disappointed with the outcome of Friday's workout and the fact that he can't be at full strength to help his team through these crucial September games.
"I wanted to be back a couple days ago. Sometimes your body just doesn't allow you to do that, so no matter how much I want to be back, it's not really going to help the situation," Young said. "Just a matter of supporting my teammates right now."
Infielder Willie Bloomquist rejoined the the team Friday after leaving San Francisco to head home and get treatment on his ailing back. Bloomquist had an injection in his back and was "pretty sore" Friday, according to manager Kirk Gibson.
"I don't know if he's going to hit today or not, but he had the injection," Gibson said. "I don't know [if he'll be available this series]. We'll see if he's going to do anything today, he just had the injection so he's still pretty sore."
Bloomquist has battled the back injury for much of the latter part of the season, including a stint on the disabled list on Aug. 11-31.
Despite a flurry of off-days this week and next, Gibson said he will keep his rotation in turn. Wade Miley and Patrick Corbin will go Saturday and Sunday against the Padres, meaning Ian Kennedy and Trevor Cahill will take the hill for a two-game series against the Dodgers next week.
Gibson also said the team is contemplating a recall of top prospect Trevor Bauer for some late-season outings, but that no final decision on that has been reached.
Chelsea Janes is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.