Newsday’s Arthur Staple hardly coaxed confirmation from Mets manager Jerry Manual that J.J. Putz (above) had lost his job as 8th inning setup man for Francisco Rodriguez (“We continue to try and do what we feel is best to win games,”), yet Staple’s editors still felt comfortable running a headline that read, “Mets’ (Bobby) Parnell might inherit 8th inning from Putz.” After retiring Jorge Cantu and Jeremy Hermida in the 8th inning of Sunday’s 3-2 win over the Marlins, Parnell squirmed under Staple’s inquisition, providing answers that if nothing else, qualify him for Teammate Of The Year consideration.
Parnell was a bit surprised he even was warming up as Putz started to find trouble. “It was kind of a surprise,” he said. “Usually, when J.J.’s in, you don’t see him struggling like that.”
Putz, who did not speak with reporters after the game, allowed two runs in a game for the third time this season, though it was the first time that happened since April 29, a span of 16 appearances. He hadn’t allowed a run in his previous 51/3 innings (in five outings).
Putz’s walk to Gload was the eighth he’s allowed in his last six outings, and he’s struck out only four in that span. When Putz was the Mariners’ closer in 2006 and 2007, he walked 13 batters in each season. He’s issued 18 walks this season and has a 3.81 ERA in 28 1/3 innings.
“J.J.’s our eighth-inning guy,” Parnell said. “I’m just trying to do whatever they need me to do. This is just another inning. I just have to come in and do my job, whatever job it is they ask me to do.”