Addison Reed told himself that facing his old team on Saturday night was no different than facing the Milwaukee Brewers last week. He's the closer. He was handed a lead. He had a job to do. "There was a batter at the plate," Reed said, "and I was trying to get them out." It just so happened that the last batter of the game was someone Reed respects more than anyone else in baseball. But, he said later, it doesn't matter how much respect he has for Paul Konerko, he's still going to try to strike him out. Reed couldn't do that, but he did get Konerko to bounce out to second to put the finishing touches on another of his tense save opportunities, helping the Diamondbacks complete a 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday night at U.S. Cellular Field. "The best thing is that we got the win," Reed said. "But against these guys, it was a little bit more fun." Reed spent parts of three seasons with the White Sox before a December trade to the Diamondbacks, who hoped he would help improve a bullpen that last year tied for the most blown saves in the majors. And, so far, he has, converting 11 of his 12 save opportunities. But he's making a habit doing it in nail-biting fashion. He entered Saturday night's game with a 4-2 lead, but a single to Conor Gillaspie, a wild pitch and another single, this one by Alexei Ramirez, cut the lead to one. It was the fourth time in his 11 saves he's given up an earned run. He allowed an unearned run in another. "The only way I can look at it, really, is that we got out of here with the win and kept them with less runs than we had," Reed said. "Obviously, it's never fun to give up runs. If I come into the game with a five-run lead, I don't want to give up one or two runs. I want to throw up zeros. Yeah, it's frustrating, but at the same time, I got out of here with the win." Reed has also had some trouble in non-save situations, twice taking the loss after giving up home runs with the game tied. "He's done a good job," manager Kirk Gibson said. "That's 11 out of 12 for us. He had an extra run to play with. That's a tough lineup he went through there in the ninth inning." After essentially abandoning his slider for the better part of three weeks, Reed has begun to incorporate it back into his repertoire in his past two outings. He used it to help him strike out Mark Reynolds to nail down a save on Wednesday in Milwaukee, and the pitch factored into two of the three outs he recorded on Saturday, including Konerko, who had launched a two-run homer in the fifth inning, when he came to the plate with Ramirez on base and two out in the ninth. With the count 0-2, Konerko laid off a down-and-away slider before grounding an outside fastball to second to end the game. "The more I throw it, the more comfortable I get with it," Reed said of the slider. "I'm going to keep using it and get to the point where I can throw it 3-2 with two outs if I need to."
Diamondbacks bounce back against the White Sox
Arizona Republic | May 11