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How About Them New Relievers?

(AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

Even as we acknowledge it’s too early in the season to express panic or exuberance, there’s no harm in formulating first impressions about the four new Brewers relievers after seeing them in action…

Alfredo Figaro: The last pitcher to make the Brewers’ roster, Figaro got the job done on Opening Day, turning in two scoreless innings of relief after an ineffective start by Gallardo.  Figaro kept the ball down and gave his team a chance to win.  What more could anyone ask for?

In Game 3, Figaro came in with one out and a man on in the sixth.  He got out of the inning without much drama, changing speeds nicely and hitting 96-97 mph more than once.  Figaro then got the first two outs of the next inning, before eventually being pulled for a lefty-switch hitter matchup.  Give that man a slap on the butt.

Burke Badenhop: Pitched a perfect eighth with two strikeouts on Opening Day, and was robbed of a win by Axford’s blown save.  Splendid debut.

Called into a bases loaded, no-out jam in Game 2, Badenhop let all inherited runners score.  I would think that giving up a sac fly to Tulowitski in that situation is forgivable.  Helton’s RBI single was the only clean hit of the inning, and then Badenhop induced a double play to finish it.  A disappointing outcome, but the guy’s not a miracle-worker.

Michael Gonzalez: An inauspicious debut to be sure.  You never want to walk the first batter you face (“pulling a José Veras”) but Gonzalez just missed with ball four to Fowler.  Then Rutledge lays down an indefensible bunt, and CarGo gets a fluky hit by hurling his broken bat toward first base (which wasn’t very sporting of him).  I feel like Gonzalez was a victim of circumstance there.

The next day, Gonzalez got Fowler to ground out on two pitches.  In pro wrestling, I believe they call that a return job.  Then Gonzalez starts the eighth by failing to retire CarGo again, this time on a proper base hit.  That would be one out in four batters faced.  Three word assessment of Gonzalez so far: room for improvement.

Tom Gorzelanny: I must admit I didn’t watch Gorzelanny in Game 2.  After the Rockies went up by three, I turned my attention elsewhere and didn’t check back until the ninth inning.  I did receive this text from a friend who saw Gorzelanny’s performance: “YoYou at this game?  Cause gorzoloni can [perform unlikely sex act].”  That’s less generous than I would be, but that sac fly Gorzelanny gave up was tagged pretty good. 

(The fact that Gorzelanny had to clean up for Axford in Game 3—pulling a Veras in the process—is so lame we’ll only mention it parenthetically and never speak of it again.)

Only 159 more games to go!

Enrique Bakemeyer

About Enrique Bakemeyer

Enrique is a writer and baseball enthusiast living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He has been contributing to The Brewers Bar since 2013, and has previously written for 411mania.com. Follow him on Twitter at @C_Enrique_B

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