M’s-Rangers: Monday pregame notes

Some good news: The sun came up this morning in Seattle and the Mariners weren’t spooked by their own shadows.

But there really is something positve going into the Mariners’ four-game series against the Texas Rangers. M’s closer J.J. Putz believes he has found his fastball again. Putz, who had no control of that pitch Thursday in Cleveland, has thrown three times in the bullpen since and today’s session was by far his best.

“Today’s bullpen was wonderful,” said Putz, who missed most of April because of inflammation in his ribs. “It’s something that I knew would come. I wasn’t worried about it.”

He likened his control problem to a golfer trying to find his swing after a long layoff. There’s nothing better than repetition to help him find consistency with the fastball. The next step is to take it into a game, which is where the rest of the Mariners come in. If they can take a lead into the ninth inning, Putz will be in there to finish it off.

Of course, in order to take a lead, they’ll need to score runs. And to score runs, they’ll need to hit. And we know what that has been like lately. We’ll see what tonight brings as the M’s face right-hander Kevin Millwood, who’s 2-2 with a 3.86 ERA and already one complete game this season.

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