Brach was charged with three runs on four hits and a walk while striking out two in 1.1 innings of relief Monday in the Cubs' 18-5 loss to the Pirates. Brach had been dynamite in relief over the past two weeks, striking out 11 while posting a 0.82 WHIP in six appearances before Monday's implosion. If there's a silver lining for Brach, it's that he was far from the only Cubs pitcher who took it on the chin on a night the Pirates racked up a season-high 23 hits. The former Orioles closer remains locked into a middle-relief role for the Cubs and will struggle to maintain relevance even in leagues that count holds as a category.
Brach has allowed 10 runs in 2.2 innings over his last four appearances. Brach has been awful since the calendar flipped to June and was poor in late May as well. Since May 20, he owns a 16.43 ERA and 2.87 WHIP in 7.2 innings. The 33-year-old doesn't have any saves this season and is about to be even further from a ninth-inning role once Craig Kimbrel is ready to make his season debut.
Brach allowed a run on two hits and a walk to blow the save in Monday's 5-4, 10-inning loss to the Phillies. Brach was called on for the top of the ninth inning with the Cubs up 4-3, and after allowing a one-out double, he had a chance to wiggle out of trouble. However, Jean Segura hit a soft line drive to right field with two outs, which brought home the tying run. Despite the hiccup, Brach still has a solid 2.75 ERA, and with Pedro Strop (hamstring) and Brandon Morrow (elbow) both currently out, he could get some more save chances here and there, though Steve Cishek seems to be atop the bullpen pecking order at the moment.
Brach (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings of relief to earn the win in Monday's game against the Pirates. He allowed a hit and a walk while striking out three. Chicago starter Jon Lester left the game with a hamstring injury after facing one batter in the third inning, and Brach subsequently got through that frame as well as the next. It helped the righty's cause that the Cubs exploded for 10 runs, but he still offered valuable relief work on a day when the bullpen had to record 21 outs. Brach now has a solid 1.50 ERA through his first six innings of work this season, and with Brandon Morrow (elbow) on the shelf and Carl Edwards currently in the minors, he could pitch some important innings for Chicago moving forward.
Brach's velocity has topped out in the upper 80s during his two Cactus League appearances heading into Wednesday, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports. For what it's worth, Brach said he isn't dealing with any physical issue and noted that he's noticed his radar readings during spring training have routinely been lower than normal each of the past four seasons. Per Brooks Baseball, Brach's four-seamer averaged no worse than 93.5 miles per hour in any month last season, so the right-hander has a fairly sizable deficit to make up if he's to maintain that level of velocity in 2019.