Confidence follows J.J. Putz's jog to the mound like the contrails of a plane engine. His arrival screams "reporting for duty, sir."

Wednesday was no different. The Chase Field crowd of 25,296 was on its feet as he took his place with an 8-5 Diamondbacks lead over Pittsburgh.

Alex Presley? Strikes out swinging.

Xavier Paul? Strikes out swinging.

Andrew McCutchen? Strikes out swinging.

The Diamondbacks are on the cusp of a surprise return to the postseason, and Putz is a big reason.

"On the field, off the field, he's like our cement," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "He really brings everyone together. Coaches. Front office. Position players. Catchers. I've been on teams where there's been a little separation between those people."