Fiers settling into groove at right time
CINCINNATI -- Right-handed pitcher Mike Fiers put together a pair of quality starts in his last two outings, but the run support wasn't there for him to pick up a victory.
On Friday he made it three-straight quality starts, and this time the run support was there for him to earn the win. Fiers (4-7, 3.83) pitched seven scoreless innings to help lead the Brewers to a series-opening victory, 12-1, over the Reds at Great American Ball Park. Fiers gave up only three hits, two walks, and added three strikeouts in his first win since June 12.
"He was excellent, the last two starts have been really, really good and tonight was probably his best one," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "He was just in control the whole time. They never really had a threat against him. … It was a night that the bullpen needed rest and so it was in that sense exactly what we needed."
"I'm just getting into a groove," Fiers said. "Really attacking guys and not walking as many as I did earlier in the season. Just keeping myself out of those bad situations that I [was] putting myself in. Making them earn their way on and limiting the mistakes."
Fiers' biggest mistake came on a throwing error in the seventh inning when he tried to barehand a grounder back up the middle by Marlon Byrd. He was able to stop the ball, but his throw to first baseman Adam Lind was in the dirt. The play was followed up by a walk of Eugenio Suarez, but Fiers was able to get Tucker Barnhart to hit into an inning-ending double play.
Fiers' hand was looked at by the medical staff after the error and he confirmed his hand was fine after the game.
Fiers also made a rare foul pop-out catch right along the Reds' dugout railing. There were other teammates around Fiers who could have made the catch, but he said he always wants to make an out when there is a chance.
"When you're in the game and you're really battling, you're competing and you want to make every out," Fiers said. "Like I said, limiting the mistakes and then also capitalizing on the plays where who knows what could have happened if I dropped that ball. He could of hit a double to lead off the inning. You never know, so I just want to make the outs, and sometimes come up with good plays."