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Gonzalez Sticking with "Deflated" Lindstrom


            "Matty is our closer."

            Those were manager Fredi Gonzalez's words after Matt Lindstrom inherited a 3-0 in the ninth and coughed it up big-time in Friday's 7-3 loss to the Phillies.

             But Gonzalez made it clear he's sticking with Lindstrom in the closer's role despite the disaster, as numbing a ninth as you'll get to see.

             Here is some of what Gonzalez told reporters:

             -- "We've got to give Matty an opportunity to close out ballgames. It's a young season and it's a good learning experience for him."

            -- "We need him to get right and run him back out there."

            -- "I'm not worried about him. I think this is one of those situations where you got to keep giving him the ball."

            Lindstrom accepted all the blame afterward, calling it "the most deflating" perforfmance of his career.

           "Embarassing," he said. "This is going to be a test for me. I've got to find a way to get it done."

           Lindstrom faced nine batters in the inning, giving up four hits -- including back-to-back homers, one of which was a Shane Victorino grand slam -- and three walks. He was lifted after Chase Utley's solo shot, with only two outs recorded.

          There will surely be calls for Gonzalez to replace Lindstrom with Leo Nunez, who delivered a 1-2-3 eighth to preserve Josh Johnson's scoreless outing. But the manager made it clear he had no intention of making any such change at the moment.

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