For Cravy, topsy-turvy start to career

Following impressive debut, Brewers righty unable to contain Braves in loss

For Cravy, topsy-turvy start to career

MILWAUKEE -- It's been an up-and-down beginning to Tyler Cravy's career with the Brewers. Tuesday night was no different, as the rookie was solid through the first three innings against the Braves before being knocked around the second time through the lineup in Milwaukee's 4-3 loss at Miller Park.

Cravy, making his second career start and filling in for the injured Matt Garza, retired nine of the first 10 Atlanta batters he faced -- the only blemish being an A.J. Pierzynski solo home run in the second. However, Pierzysnki and the Braves caught on beginning in the fourth, as Cravy surrendered seven hits over the next three innings.

"First inning, I felt like my command was pretty good. I was able to execute my pitches and didn't make too may mistakes early on," Cravy said afterward. "Second time [through], they were pretty comfortable. I don't think I threw inside enough. They did a real good job staying on balls low and out of the zone and putting good swings on those."

Overall, Cravy surrendered eight hits and three runs in six-plus innings. It was a stark difference from his impressive Major League debut against the Cardinals on June 2.

Cravy allowed just one run on four hits in seven innings in that start. It was a performance that led to praise from Brewers manager Craig Counsell -- and the first-year skipper had the same positive outlook afterward despite Tuesday's loss.

Counsell on loss to Braves

"Tyler was good. He kept us in the game," Counsell said. "He's got a little bit of deception to him. He's effective when he's down, down in the zone. I thought he did a good job of that tonight."

Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy, who provided one of Milwaukee's three runs with a solo shot in the first inning, agreed with Counsell's assessment.

"I thought he limited the damage," Lucroy said. "He had some two-out walks that got us, made some mistakes out over the plate that we got hurt on. But other than that, he kept the game close and gave us a chance."

The next stage of Cravy's career is unknown. Garza was placed on the disabled list knowing the All-Star break was roughly a week away. The break will allow Garza to get nearly 20 days off while missing just one start, which could mean Cravy is sent back to the bullpen or to Triple-A Colorado Springs if Garza is ready to return when that time comes.

"I have no idea," Cravy said when asked about what's next for him. "I'm just along for the ride, really."

If he does stay with the big club moving forward, he has an idea of how he can avoid nights like Tuesday.

"Just focus on execution, that's it," he said. "That's the biggest thing. And try not to overthrow."

Brandon Curry is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.