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Out of limbo, Blazek joins Brewers' bullpen

MILWAUKEE -- For a few days, Michael Blazek was in limbo, but on Monday he joined the Brewers, a new team and a new start for the 24-year-old right-hander. It began with a scoreless eighth inning and one strikeout in Milwaukee's 5-2 loss to the Pirates.

Blazek -- the player to be named in the trade that sent John Axford to the Cardinals -- was technically sent down to the Cardinals' Triple-A affiliate in Memphis after he pitched for the Cards on Wednesday, but actually was just at the Drury Inn in St. Louis, waiting for word from the team.

"They just kind of said, 'Go to your hotel. We'll call you and talk to you in the next day with what's going on,'" said Blazek. "At first I was like, 'OK, waiting to see if a spot opens, or to wait until [Memphis'] season is over and I'll come back up.' I really didn't know anything until the second or third day into sitting around.

"Yeah, I've never really had to deal with that kind of thing before. You know, just sitting around not really knowing what was going on. By Saturday, late Saturday, me and [Cardinals manager] Mike [Matheny] kind of talked and he said, 'Just start preparing yourself, you're probably getting traded, you're probably going to be the guy.'"

Blazek, who throws a fastball, curveball, slider, changeup and cutter, and can hit 95-96 mph, made 11 appearances out of the Cardinals' bullpen this season, posting a 6.97 ERA in 10 1/3 innings.

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said Blazek -- a closer with Double-A Springfield and Triple-A this year, and a reliever with the Cardinals -- will work out of the Brewers' bullpen.

"His fastball was outstanding," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said after Blazek's Labor Day debut. "I saw tapes on him. He's got a good curveball, a good slider, but today, he was up with those pitches. Threw a great changeup to [Garrett] Jones, but his fastball was really good."

Blazek's inflated numbers came from two outings in which he allowed six of his eight earned runs. In his 11 appearances, Blazek walked 10 batters, something he attributed to being a little over-amped in his first big league season. Five of them came in those two rough appearances, against Houston and Cincinnati.

"I think I was trying to do a little too much," he said. "The last outing I had [1 2/3 scoreless innings against the Reds on Wednesday] was actually probably the most comfortable I felt since I first came up. I think in between, I was just trying to prove too much and trying to do too much in those outings, and it kind of got away from me a little bit. But once you get a little comfortable and settle in, everything should be fine."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. Kevin Massoth is an associate reporter for
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