What the Brewers need to do to keep winning
Pitcher Tyler Thornburg. (63) Image by Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Despite falling Monday to the St. Louis Cardinals, the Milwaukee Brewers are off to a hot start in 2014. We're reviewing areas to improve on before we can expect them to start printing 2014 playoff tickets.
We showed you Part 1 on Monday. Here's part 2:
Tyler Thornburg: Relief ace
Tyler Thornburg has been nasty coming out of the bullpen so far this year and he clearly has the stuff to be a relief ace.
Ron Roenicke (like many managers) prefers to have roles for his relief pitchers, and that’s fine if it involves using Jim Henderson as the eighth inning guy and Francisco Rodriguez as the closer.
The secret weapon of a great bullpen is a dynamic arm that can be deployed as a fireman earlier in the game. Thornburg has the stuff to shut down potential rallies and do it for more than three outs in a game.
If Thornburg can bridge short starts and hand leads to Henderson and K-Rod to end games, the Brewers could be very successful in close contests.
The Brewers have the potential to use two arms as relief aces, but unfortunate news after the game on Saturday night was Brandon Kintzler being placed on the 15-day DL.
The 1-2 punch of Kintzler and Thornburg puts a lot of pressure on opposing teams to jump on the Brewers early, and avoid difficult task of mounting comebacks on those two.
We'll have part three of what the Brewers need to do to stay in the win column later this week.