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Grimm gaining confidence in the bullpen

Grimm gaining confidence in the bullpen

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants' Angel Pagan singled to lead off the eighth inning Monday against Jeff Samardzija, and Cubs manager Rick Renteria called on Justin Grimm to face the Nos. 2-4 hitters.

"I was honestly a little surprised yesterday when they called my name," Grimm said Tuesday. "They didn't have to say it twice."

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On May 20, he was the pitcher Renteria wanted when the Yankees had runners at first and second and two outs in the sixth. Grimm got Alfonso Soriano to hit into a fielder's choice.

"I feel like after the circus I had in St. Louis, it was just a matter of gaining confidence in me again and seeing how I respond when I go out," said Grimm, who took the loss in an extra-inning game against the Cardinals May 13, losing on a walk-off hit by pitch. "That's my opinion. I'm still learning and just trying to be ready every day. You never know what's going to happen."

Like having to face the Giants' Hunter Pence, Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval, which he did on Monday.

"I try to take that out of it," Grimm said. "When you first come up, you see all these big names and you do tend to shy away sometimes. Basically, my mindset is to attack the zone and not break it down to, 'All right, I have to get this ball outside right here, I have to get this ball inside.' I want to attack the zone and quit trying to strike everybody out. Strikeouts happen. You can't make them happen, they just happen."

Grimm, who leads the Cubs with 24 relief appearances, struck out Pence and Sandoval, by the way.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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