Torres, 'pen's struggles continue vs. Padres

June 18th, 2017
Brewers reliever Carlos Torres has allowed 12 earned runs and five home runs over his last 10 appearances. (Getty)

MILWAUKEE -- Saturday offered no relief for the Brewers' beleaguered bullpen.

' troubles continued when he surrendered a go-ahead two-run home run in the 10th inning, only to be saved by 's tying, two-run shot. But was touched for a pair of solo homers in the 11th, and the Brewers fell to the Padres, 7-5, at Miller Park.

Drake was saddled with the 19th loss for a Brewers reliever this season. No Major League relief corps has absorbed more.

"All you can do is come back, work hard and try to make pitches again tomorrow," Torres said. "Baseball is the unique sport like that. We have to get them tomorrow and proceeding forward, no matter what happens today."

Drake offered a similar sentiment.

"We've had a lot of close games," he said. "We're going out there competing, and sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it doesn't. We're going to keep battling."

Torres said Saturday's loss was "100 percent on me," but he is not the only Brewers reliever enduring a down year. Since Opening Day, general manager David Stearns has parted ways with relievers , , , Tommy Milone, and $5.25 million closer for performance reasons. Stearns said earlier this week that he is open to adding relief help from outside the organization if the opportunity presents itself, adding that nothing was imminent.

Soft spots in the middle innings have led manager Craig Counsell to ride his two best relievers hard. pitched a scoreless ninth inning in his 36th game Saturday, tying teammates and Torres, the Pirates' and the Mets' for the most appearances in the Majors. Earlier in the day, Counsell conceded the Brewers were "on the edge" of acceptable workloads for Knebel and Barnes.

"There's days we have to say no," Counsell said.

Torres was supposed to be prominent among Counsell's options when the likes of Knebel and Barnes need a break, but 2017 has been tough. Torres' 1.73 home runs per nine innings is a career high, and about double Torres' rate in the past two seasons with the Brewers and Mets. His 1.65 WHIP would be a career high, too.

Two advanced stats help better quantify Torres' tough year. There's WPA/LI -- Win Probability Added divided by Leverage Index -- which measures performance in the context of the game situation; and RE24 -- Base Out Runs Added -- which measures pitchers' run prevention based on the number of outs and runners on base.

In both categories, Torres has been one of the Brewers' least reliable relievers. He is second-last to starter-turned-reliever with -0.71 WPA/LI, and third from the bottom with -5.72 RE24. Only Feliz, who was designated for assignment earlier in the week, and Peralta fare worse there.

"Every year is a rollercoaster. It's just not usually this big of a chunk [of a season] at the same time," Torres said. "That's what it is. You give up a run every now and then, ups and downs, but it seems like the last two weeks have been a lot of runs and not as many innings."

Torres said he feels 100 percent and does not believe his stuff is deficient compared to last season.

"We've got choices in our bullpen," Counsell said. "Carlos is a member of our bullpen, and he needs to pitch effective innings for us."