MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers sent one struggling starting pitcher to the Minors on Friday in an effort to get him on track. Are there more demotions to be made like Taylor Jungmann's?
Probably not, manager Craig Counsell said Saturday after Chase Anderson was the latest Milwaukee starter hit hard in a 7-5 loss to the Marlins at Miller Park. In losing his third straight start, Anderson pushed the ERA of Brewers starting pitchers to 6.32, worst in Major League Baseball. Only the Reds have more starts of five or fewer innings than the Brewers, who have 14 such starts in 23 games.
The only Milwaukee starter to record an out past the sixth inning this season is Jimmy Nelson, who has done so twice. He also accounts for three of the Brewers' five quality starts, the lowest total in the Majors.
"We have to stay the course," Counsell said. "There's not an unlimited supply of starting pitching out there. These are our guys. They need to pitch better; they will pitch better. We certainly need to get going."
With Jungmann at Triple-A Colorado Springs and Matt Garza still on the disabled list, the Brewers' starters are Nelson (3.16 ERA), Anderson (5.55 ERA), Wily Peralta (7.40 ERA) and Zach Davies (8.78 ERA). The Brewers will promote another pitcher to take Jungmann's place beginning Tuesday against the Angels.
On Saturday, Anderson was charged with six runs (five earned) on nine hits, including three solo home runs, in 4 1/3 innings. He has surrendered 28 hits, including six home runs, in his past three starts, all losses totaling 13 1/3 innings.
Derek Dietrich hit the game's first pitch for a leadoff home run, and Adeiny Hechavarria led off the second inning with a home run. Anderson stranded the bases loaded in each inning, but spent 31 pitches apiece. He threw 96 pitches in all in his 4 1/3-inning outing.
That has been another problem of these Brewers under first-year pitching coach Derek Johnson: Sky-high pitch counts. Three of the eight highest single-game pitch counts in MLB this season belong to the Brewers; 200 pitches in a loss to the Phillies on April 23, 199 pitches in a loss to the Cubs on Thursday and 197 pitches on Friday night.
"Today, I felt like I was attacking the zone as best I could," Anderson said. "I was throwing some pitches that were pretty close and could have gone either way, and it went in their hand. They're swinging the bats, playing good baseball right now; we're kind of in a rut. That's just this game. We'll get out of it, I know that for sure."
It is Peralta's turn on Sunday. The Brewers' Opening Day starter, Peralta is 1-3 with a 7.40 ERA after five outings.
"We've got to pitch better," Counsell said.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.