After left-handed pitcher Rex Brothers stumbled badly for a second consecutive outing Tuesday, manager Jim Tracy said the 24-year-old reliever would be back on the mound soon "because we have to get him straightened out."
Indeed, after the Rockies beat the Pirates 2-1 in the first game of a doubleheader, Brothers relieved in a low-stress situation in the second game, which the Rockies lost 5-1.
The Rockies trailing by that score when Brothers took the mound in the seventh and threw 13 pitches, eight strikes. He struck out Andrew McCutchen looking, got Garrett Jones to fly to right, gave up an opposite field double to left by Pedro Alvarez and struck out Yamaico Narvarro swinging.
Before this outing, Brothers had allowed six batters in a row to reach base -- two in Milwaukee on Sunday when Matt Belisle bailed him out and four in a blown save Tuesday at Pittsburgh.
After that game, general manager Dan O'Dowd spoke with Brothers, 24, in the clubhouse and said he was trying too hard. Several teammates also made it a point to talk to Brothers.
Pitching coach Bob Apodaca said, "He has the wrong formula right now. He knows how important his role is, and he's just attempting to do things he's not capable of doing."
Namely, Brothers, who can throw his fastball at 96-97 mph was trying to throw it harder, causing him to lose command of the pitch and get into unfavorable counts that make his slider far less of a weapon.
"I haven't done very well for a week and a half now, but I've just got to start making pitches," Brothers said before the doubleheader. "It's as simple as that. It'll come sooner than later. That's the nature of this game. It can be cruel sometimes and just as good in the others.
"After I talked to several people last night, I kind of put things into perspective. I was trying to force the issue and correct things in the wrong way. Today's a new day."
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