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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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August 5, 2008 11:29 PM

Putz "closes" ninth

Posted by Geoff Baker

vidro0805 040.jpg

You see J.J. Putz, above, striking out Nick Punto to begin the ninth inning. Putz held the 8-7 lead through the ninth and picks up the win. But since he blew the save opportunity in the eighth, he doesn't get credit for a save here. You can't create your own save opportunity, get it? Anyhow, a wild way for Putz to do what he's supposed to, retiring the side in the ninth. Walked Justin Morneau after that then yielded a double to Jason Kubel -- who had two homers already on the night -- to put runners at second and third. Putz then walked Delmon Young intentionally to load the bases, but pinch-hitter Mike Redmond flied out to right. A night that began awfully for Putz and looked shaky throughout still ends on a good note. But this could be a nervy last two months in the bullpen. Putz's four-seam fastball lacked command tonight and that's what Mike Lamb hit for that two-run double in the eighth.

Huge night for Raul Ibanez with five more RBI. Also for R.A. Dickey, who allows just three runs over seven innings. Oh yeah, that Jose Lopez fellow also wasn't bad.

Like I said, I think Ryan Rowland-Smith is going to be rejoining this team fairly soon. It's going to be tough to kick Dickey out of the rotation. Not when Miguel Batista has closing experience and lasted just three innings in a start last night.

"I'd like to think I’ve done a pretty good job making a case to stick in there,'' Dickey said. "I don't know how many starts I've had, but I've had five or six quality starts and given us a chance to win.''

Dickey says it's ultimately out of his hands. He's used to that. As a loyal employee, he'll go along with whatever the team, decides.

From these eyes, it's a no-brainer. He goes six or seven innings a night. End of story.

"I'd like to be part of the solution,'' Dickey added. "And I feel that I could be.''

This team has a lot of tough solutions to find. It should do itself a favor by going along with the easy ones.

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