New Brewer Anthony Swarzak pitched to his new manager, Craig Counsell, in his MLB debut
Craig Counsell and the Brewers were looking forward to adding Anthony Swarzak to their bullpen, and the reliever pitched his first game for them during Friday night's 2-1 victory over the Cubs. As it turns out, though, Swarzak has a deeper connection to his new skipper.
Coincidentally, a 23-year-old Swarzak made his MLB debut with the Twins against the Brewers back on May 23, 2009. He spun a gem, becoming the first Twins starter to ever throw seven shutout innings in a Major League debut.
Swarzak got off to a good start in that game by retiring the very first batter he faced -- Counsell himself.
Swarzak told MLB.com's Carson Mason that while he didn't have the exact details, he recalled that Counsell was the first batter in his debut. "I remember a lot from that game. I don't remember specific pitches or anything like that. It was a while ago," he said. "But I remember the atmosphere. I remember the fans. It was a great experience."
The rookie continued to stymie Counsell, who was held hitless in that game and was retired again by Swarzak as a pinch-hitter during his final season in 2011. The 16-year veteran was 0-for-4 in his career against him. Now, Swarzak will pitch for Counsell.
Did insider knowledge from Counsell inspire the Brewers to acquire Swarzak? Hey, it's possible.
If you can't beat 'em, trade for 'em.