Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin
By ANDREW GRUMAN  |  Last updated 9/19/13
MILWAUKEE -- The question has come up after each one of Tyler Thornburg's six quality starts with the Milwaukee Brewers this season: How did this guy go 0-9 in Triple-A? Thornburg worked six scoreless innings and allowed just two hits Wednesday in Milwaukee's 7-0 victory over Chicago, lowering his ERA in six starts to 1.25. He's been asked frequently what the difference has been between the pitcher who had a 5.79 ERA in Triple-A and the one who has been a model of consistency in the big leagues. Nobody has been able to provide an explanation or a theory as to what's changed until Wednesday. "I think just mentally you realize how much something matters up here," Thornburg said. "I think I was a little upset being in Triple-A. Honestly, I was kicking myself a little bit too much. I was doing things that I necessarily wouldn't do normally, as far as trying to throw different pitches and trying to develop a couple of pitches. It just got me into trouble. Then up here I've stuck with my three good pitches and really trying to improve upon those." Thornburg has worked exactly six innings in all six of his starts, never allowing more than two earned runs. He was in control of the game from the get-go Wednesday, as the Cubs didn't have a runner in scoring position until Thornburg had left the game. A pair of two-out singles were the only hits allowed by Thornburg, while one of his two walks also came with two down. Thornburg didn't have to work out of trouble once, unlike some of his previous five starts. "I think all of them have been incredibly different as far as what I've thrown, results-wise," Thornburg said. "A lot of times I've had to battle with runners in scoring position. This one I don't think a runner got in scoring position. That's one of the things I pride myself on is consistency. I try to keep it to three or less (runs) every time. Up until this first half season in Triple-A I've been able to do that." It's hard to top what Thornburg has done when starting this season, but he has always hit the end of his night after six innings. At 91 pitches after six innings Wednesday, Thornburg might have been able to continue, but Brewers manager Ron Roenicke pulled the plug in a 7-0 game. "It comes down to command so its something -- hes still young -- you hope he grows into," Roenicke said to how Thornburg can become more efficient. "You hope he falls into a rhythm and a delivery that he can repeat pitches. Hes a good athlete so I dont see why he wouldnt." Milwaukee's offense was able to give Thornburg a big lead right off the bat. With the Brewers already up 1-0 on an Aramis Ramirez RBI single, first baseman Sean Halton muscled a two-out grand slam out to right to make it 5-0. Instead of relaxing with a big lead, Thornburg went into shutdown mode and didn't let the Cubs back into the game. "I try to sit on the bench and let the game go in and out. Lohse was kind of telling me that always helps," Thornburg said. "I always try to pitch like it is 0-0. If you pitch like you have too big of a lead you are just going to make mistakes." With questions as to if he's a starting pitcher moving forward and concerns about his Triple-A numbers, Thornburg was a longshot to make next season's rotation when he first came up to the Brewers. He had to make a strong impression with the opportunity he was given, and he certainly has now thrown his name into the mix. It's a miraculous turnaround for a guy who was searching for answers in the minor leagues just a few months ago. "Hes confident," Roenicke said. "He gets a little wild at times and then comes back and makes great pitches. He has three really good pitches: a really good fastball, a good curveball and a great change-up. He can mix in the two off-speed pitches, depending on which is going well that day, and when you can do that and you have a lot of life on your fastball, youll pitch like he did today. "I dont have any thoughts on where this guy projects out but with having plus pitches like he does and making so many good pitches when he needs to, if he can find that rhythm and that command that keeps getting better as he pitches, we have a really nice guy." Considering Thornburg's season -- and career -- could have went in a lot of directions this season, he is pleased with how he's been able to recover from a rough start. If Milwaukee was healthy for most of the season, Thornburg never would have been in the big leagues. Instead he will now head into spring training with at least a chance to win a spot in the starting rotation next season. "Once I got an opportunity I put so much pressure on myself to be able to take it and run with it," Thornburg said. "I think every time out I'm trying to focus as much mentally as possible in order to put myself in a great position for next year." Follow Andrew Gruman on Twitter
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Pierre-Paul won't need to wear club on hand this season

Report: Four cities remain in contention to host 2017 NBA ASG

Doc Rivers: Clippers have plan to let Paul Pierce retire as a Celtic

Another young 49er, Kaleb Ramsey, retires from NFL

Saints GM: Drew Brees’ contract situation is not a ‘distraction’


Tim Tebow: ‘I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been in’

Olympic athletes warned about Rio's 'human crap' waters

T.J. Ward: Broncos defense doesn’t care who’s playing QB

Tokyo already dealing with rising costs for 2020 Olympics

Bears first-round pick Leonard Floyd carted off practice field

Report: Bills and Tyrod Taylor continue to talk extension

Diamondbacks nearing Daniel Hudson trade

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

What would George Costanza have traded to get Bonds and Griffey?

Gabby Douglas can make USA Gymnastics history at Olympics

Week 3 will determine the Big Ten's reputation this season

Cam Talbot thinks the Oilers are close to making the playoffs

The new era of WWE SmackDown has liftoff

Vlade Divac: Cousins ‘most dominant player in the world’

Wild offer to make Prince's 'Let's Go Crazy' new goal song

Canucks don't dismiss acquiring player with past issues

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar ordered to pay $900K to auction house

Six potential landing spots for Nick Foles

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker