Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 6/30/12
MILWAUKEE Brewers catcher George Kottaras trotted out to the mound in the middle of Friday night's 9-3 loss to the Diamondbacks to meet his pitcher Randy Wolf, who stood on the hill noticeably exasperated, caught in the midst of one of the most wearisome stretches of his 15-year baseball career. Wolf yelled into his glove out of frustration. When Wolf's four troubling innings had ended, having watched the Diamondbacks put up eight earned runs and his ERA balloon to 5.78, he left the field wondering, again, what had gone wrong. Without a win since April 30 and three efforts over the last month that resulted in four or more earned runs, Wolf explained that this stretch had been "by far" the most frustrating of his career. "There's no comparison," Wolf said. "I've never felt physically great and had such awful results. It just seems like right when I'm on the right track, I just derail again. It's beyond frustrating." Brewers manager Ron Roenicke had expressed his dismay on several occasions that the Milwaukee bullpen had blown what would've been a win for Wolf in four of his last six outings, prior to Friday night's game. And on Friday night, that empathy was again on display, as he could see the frustration building while his pitcher again struggled. "This definitely set him back some," Roenicke said. "He keeps battling. He's working his tail off and it's hard to see him go through this. Before today, I really think he's thrown the ball well for quite a few games. Today, he didn't. He didn't get much luck either." Wolf stood in front his locker at the far end of the clubhouse on Friday night, listing for the media the things that had gone awry and the frustrations that had seemingly bubbled over in the four innings he was on the hill against Arizona. A hanging curveball. Falling behind in the count. A bad fastball to a good fastball hitter. The Brewers pitcher allowed the list of mistakes to pile up, as his face showed the anguish of someone unaware of what direction to go in. It's not necessarily the results that have worn on Wolf throughout the season though. Rather, the root of the frustration comes from the fact that the veteran pitcher says that he's felt in tip-top physical shape all season long and that the stuff he's had throughout his entire 15-year career was still there. But the chips just refuse to fall for Wolf, who hasn't had an ERA this high through 15 starts since his 1999 rookie season. "It'd be a lot easier if my fastball was gone and I had no curveball anymore and everything was brutal," Wolf said. "That'd be easy to look at and say I have to reinvent something. But when my stuff is basically the same it's always been, and I physically feel great, you know, I'm one of those people I don't just sit there and do the same thing. I'm going to make adjustments to my delivery, and I'm going to talk to (pitching coach Rick Kranitz) and try to figure something out. It's one of those things where it definitely takes years off your life. This game, I love playing it, but right now, it's really not fun. It seems like in every way it's gone bad for me this year." And Kottaras agrees Wolf's stuff looks the same as it did last season, when he went 13-10 with a 3.69 ERA. He also admitted that Wolf's last few outings have been noticeably tough on the veteran pitcher. When asked what the next step was for him, Wolf struggled with his words. "I'm not gonna quit," Wolf said. "It's really tough to say. I don't know ... It's hard to say. It's not like my stuff is any different than any years past. It's just, I don't know. I wish I had a great answer right now." Follow Ryan Kartje on Twitter.
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