MILWAUKEE When Chris Narveson's injury opened the door for Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Marco Estrada to finally become a starting pitcher, he insisted that he'd always thought like one, trying every game to get closer to that goal. He wouldn't let this opportunity be wasted, he said.
And while he got off to a slow start this season, Estrada cappeda brilliant second half of the season with an eight-inning gem on Saturday night, striking out 11 and retiring his last 12 batters faced. It was the longest the former reliever had been in a game all season the performance he had been waiting for, it seemed, to show the Brewers' brass that he truly does belong as a starter.
"To finish the regular season like that, it was amazing," Estrada said.
Through five innings, it wasn't apparent that it would end that way though, as Estrada struggled to establish command of his off-speed pitches. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke admitted afterwards that he thought Estrada would struggle to finish.