Will the Real J.J. Putz Please Stand Up?

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                  On the heels of another heart breaking loss for the hometown nine, the question of what is wrong with J.J. Putz looms heavily like a dark rain cloud over Seattle.(There are regular rain clouds too but I am pretty sure that at least one of them is the question cloud…..You may ask “how do you know that?”…To that I would say, I just do. After Ichiro manufactured a run all by himself in the 9th to tie the game and Buford T. (Richie) Sexson smashed his 300th career homerun over the left field wall to take the lead, JJ came in with an opportunity so close out the game. Putz pitched one inning, walked in the tying run in the bottom of the tenth to push the game to an eleventh inning, where the Indians had their way with Mark Lowe and Sean Green. J.J. looked awful, walking two and giving up two hits. It’s possible that J.J. is still a little dinged up and is just not pitching well due to nagging injury, but at times he looks like good ole J.J., so it feels like it may be a mental issue. I guess we’ll have to just ride it out and see what happens, but we need him to be good to have any shot at keeping up in the AL West. On a side note, both Clement and Balentien came crashing back down to earth, as Paul Byrd pretty much dominated the M’s lineup from top to bottom. Balentien struggled mightily, striking out in 3 of 4 at bats and looking like……well a rookie.

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