The Matt Garza drama took a backseat tonight as Ariel Pena made his first start as a major leaguer. Though he has only been starting for a little over a month this season at AAA, he made a solid first impression as he toed the hill as a starter for the first time in the MLB.
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In all tonight, Pena went five strong, allowing two runs on three hits with four walks and four strikeouts. He threw 94 pitches with 60 strikes until he was replaced by Tyler Cravy in the bottom of the sixth inning. Though he left in the midst of a tie game, he pitched well enough to keep the Brewers in the ball game and he kept the Miami Marlins bats in check for the most part.
Though this start was his first of the year, it was not his first time out on a major league mound as he was able to debut this past Saturday and earn his first victory in relief. Pena also had some familiarity in his start tonight as well as AAA catcher and former Sky Sox teammate, Nevin Ashley made his major league debut behind the plate.
With Garza struggling all season, it was a breath of fresh air to see another young arm get a real shot with the Brewers. Though I believe that control issues and organizational depth will keep Pena a a reliever in the future, this start showed hope as he continues to progress. His powerful arm can dominate when he is on which could should help him to be successful mid to late inning arm. In all his start was another step in the right direction for another young Brewer hopeful.