On Saturday in Cincinnati against the Reds, Milwaukee Brewers starter Zach Davies was looking for redemption in his third start of the season. In his first two starts of the year, Davies had Brewers fans yet again crossing their arms and saying, “not again” after results that were decidedly mixed.
In the past the Brewers have been cursed with dreadful pitching performances from current and former starters. Struggles from pitchers in starting roles is an all too familiar a trend for the Milwaukee Brewers. The 23-year old starter, who was guaranteed a spot in this rotation coming into spring, looked to prove why he was given his shot as the number two starter on Saturday.
Davies’ control seemed to finally come together on Saturday, as he would end up surrendering just three runs in the hitter-friendly Great American Ball Park, mostly due to an uninspired defensive effort behind him.
But poor defense is by no means an excuse for a pitcher leaving pitches up in the zone. Davies kept almost all of his pitches down in the zone and he appeared like he had regained some of his 2016 form.
Another key aspect that stood out today and that should have some fans looking forward to his next start is that Davies delivered pinpoint accuracy on all of the corners. If he can maintain command like this for the next few months, he may be headed to his first All-Star Game.
Davies is a control based pitcher. Without a 95 MPH fastball, Davies has to work the corners, change speeds, and mix his pitches to keep hitters off-balance. He has to rely on his location in order to get strikes. Getting a feel for the corners can be a struggle in March and April after the long layoff, but he seemed to be finding himself on Saturday.
Now that Davies has bounced back, Brewers fans can now relax and get ready for his next scheduled start against the Cardinals on April 20th. His success should continue as long as he can maintain his feel for the corners and keep the ball low in the zone like he did on Saturday afternoon.
Davies’ development is absolutely paramount to the Brewers exceeding expectations and snapping their five-year playoff drought. How do you feel about Zach Davies as a long term solution in the Brewers rotation? Let us know in the comments section below!