Newbie Colten Brewer turns Yankees only saving grace in Cleveland defeat

Colten Brewer is impressive in his two games pitching for the Yankees.

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CLEVELAND – Except for Colten Brewer, the Yankees pitching department fell flat in the first game against the Guardians on Monday. Only the latest Yankees’ signing stood the ground and pitched a scoreless spell.

Colten Brewer started his career in the Minors as a starter, but he eventually became almost exclusively a reliever. He is tough enough to pitch for a long time on days when a starter doesn’t do well. In Game 1 at Progressive Field, he did it for the Yankees.

Colten Brewer proved a point

After struggling for three innings, starter Domingo German started the fourth inning by walking two batters in a row. Then, Mike Zunino hit a double that drove in a run, tying the score at two. Then, manager Aaron Boone replaced German with Colten Brewer.

The ex-Rays pitcher has a pitching style based on movement (his curveball spine is in the 78th percentile and his fastball spin is in the 79th), and he is just as comfortable going into a tough spot to get a couple of big outs.

Colten Brewer showed off both of these skills on Monday when the Yankees gave him the chance. He came into the game and immediately walked No. 9 batter, Myles Straw. This put the bases full and no outs on Steven Kwan’s plate. Colten Brewer got out of a jam with the bases full in the fourth inning and then pitched two more scoreless innings to save the Yankees’ bullpen, which, however, faltered.

After the game, Colten Brewer admitted that it was a “do or die” moment and he did what he thought it important to do. After Kwan, he got Amed Rosario to ground into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning and put out the fire.

But he wasn’t done yet. Colten Brewer threw a perfect fifth inning and got two outs before Zunino hit a double with two outs in the sixth. As he had done in the previous two innings, Brewer got out of the jam by getting Straw to ground out, which ended the inning.

Boone was happy over Brewer’s performance

“Brewer came in and got three huge outs for us,” Boone said. “It was big. That’s about as tough a spot as you can come into, especially if you haven’t pitched in a few days.”

Colten Brewer was traded to the Yankees from the Rays on March 30. On April 2, he pitched the last two innings in the Yankees’ 6-0 win over the Giants.

“You’ve got to stay ready,” Brewer said. “You never know when your name’s going to be called. You’ve got to take advantage of those moments.”

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