Chris Narveson’s freak thumb injury brought about a level of uncertainty to the Brewers’ rotation.
Throughout the extent of his career in Milwaukee, Narveson’s work has gone largely unappreciated. Such is the life of a fifth starter. Though the southpaw only missed two starts, it appeared likely that his absence was going to highlight a lack of depth in starting pitching that spans the entire organization.
To the average fan, losing a fifth-starter doesn’t appear to be a big deal, but Narveson has been more than a serviceable arm at the back end of the rotation this year. To date, Narvy is 8-6 with a 4.49 ERA. In his last ten starts, he is 5-2 with a 4.65 mark. Though the stats aren’t incredible, they are definitely numbers that most major league clubs can live with.
More times than not, Narveson gives his squad a chance to win. Being the fifth gut in Milwaukee is a lot like being a quarterback for the Wisconsin Badgers; you don’t have to put the team on your back to succeed, you just can’t singlehandedly lose ball games. As of recently,
Narveson has done much more than that. The Brewers are 8-2 in his last 10 starts.
I thought the last two weeks would be a chance for Brewers fans everywhere to realize how fortunate we were to have Narveson as a part of the starting five. Marco Estrada had other ideas.
Estrada has never been a terrible guy to have on the roster, but generally speaking, he is not a starting pitcher, he just plays one on TV.
In his two spot-starts, he pitched out of his mind. He pitched 10 innings in his two outings, allowed only one earned run, struck out 10 and
walked just two.
During those outings, the Brewers went 1-1. The lone loss had nothing to do with Estrada’s performance. The Crew fell to L.A. 6-1, but were only trailing 1-0 when Estrada left the contest. Essentially, Estrada went toe-to-toe with Clayton Kershaw for five frames and the Brewers’ bats spoiled it by not driving in a run until the ninth inning.
It is unlikely that Narveson will receive a hero’s welcome when he returns to the mound Monday in Pittsburgh, but it will be hard not to let out a small sigh of relief.