"It was a little tough, obviously knowing I was going right back down," Cravy said. "But I don't think that affected me too much out on the mound."
Said manager Craig Counsell, "It's a chance to perform. You have to take it as a chance to perform. If anything, you know what's happening, you go out and pitch free, in my opinion. It's a big league start. So I don't think that has an impact, necessarily. Tyler understands he's a guy with options, and he's going to be a guy who's up and down. He's well aware of that."
Cravy and the Brewers trailed throughout the game. Joey Votto hit a solo home run in the first inning, Adam Duvall hit an RBI double in the second and Brandon Phillips broke the game open with a three-run home run in the third for a 5-0 Reds lead.
Including his stint in the rotation last season, Cravy fell to 0-7 with a 6.50 ERA in eight Major League starts.
Cravy said he had "no idea" what was in store for him back at Colorado Springs, telling reporters, "Your guess is as good as mine." He said coaches informed him in Spring Training he would be a reliever, in part because that was his expected fit should he be needed in the big leagues. But after an April stint in the Brewers' bullpen, he was sent back to Triple-A to be a starter.
He made one start in the Minors prior to Friday's surprise outing at Great American Ball Park.
"I'm ready for whatever they want me to do," Cravy said. "It's tough, I was starting to get used to the 'pen. When they have different needs, you've got to make the adjustments."
The Brewers claimed 29-year-old Kirkman off waivers from the Padres on Thursday, and he will join Chris Capuano as a left-handed relief option. He pitched in the Brewers' system last season, posting a 2.81 ERA at Colorado Springs.
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.