Davies caps off stellar September campaign
Brewers rookie starter extends scoreless streak to 15 innings
SAN DIEGO -- Every September callup aims to leave his organization with a good impression.
Zach Davies left the Brewers with a great one.
Extending his scoreless streak to 15 consecutive innings, Davies blanked the Padres over seven innings of a 5-0 Brewers win at Petco Park on Wednesday night in his final scheduled start. Davies scattered five Padres hits, preserved the shutout by stranding a pair of runners in scoring position in his final frame, and recorded 21 outs without a single flyout to the outfield.
Did the 22-year-old do enough in his six September starts to crack the conversation about Milwaukee's 2016 starting rotation?
"For me he's in the conversation, yeah," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "He's had a lot of success at the Triple-A level. Now he's had success at the big league level. It depends on who we go to camp with, but more important than that is he's had this run of success here. He knows he can do it, we know he can do it, and it's something very positive to take into the winter. He can trust in what he's doing.
"That may be the bigger word for him; When any pitcher changes levels, you have to trust that what you've done to have success is going to work at the next level. … It's clear to me he has weapons for every hitter. It's been encouraging."
Davies jumped levels and organizations during a whirlwind 2015. The Brewers acquired him from the Orioles in a July 31 trade for Gerardo Parra and assigned Davies to pitch in the difficult conditions at Triple-A Colorado Springs.
After five starts there, he made his Major League debut on Sept. 2 against the Pirates and went 3-2 with a 3.71 ERA in six starts.
"For me, it was making sure I trusted my stuff, making sure I knew that I can get hitters out, letting my stuff play," Davies said. "I don't think it was in doubt. It was just coming in a little bit nervous, a little bit trying to figure out what guys are like. [Hitters] know their job, but at the same time, they'll still get themselves out if you allow it to happen."
Davies said all the right things when asked about his prospects for the Brewers' 2016 starting rotation, saying he was one of many competent choices that club officials could make. On paper, it looks as if the Brewers have one open spot behind Matt Garza (assuming Garza isn't traded this winter), Wily Peralta, Jimmy Nelson and Taylor Jungmann.
While new general manager David Stearns sorts out his options, Davies will enjoy a break after a whirlwind season.
"Things happened fast," Davies said. "It felt like a little bit longer year, but that's what it's going to be going forward, hopefully. So you get used to it."