Wolf hit hard, remains winless since April

Wolf hit hard, remains winless since April

Wolf hit hard, remains winless since April
MILWAUKEE -- As Brewers starter Randy Wolf yelled into his glove during the third inning of a 9-3 loss to the D-backs on Friday night, it was more than just one RBI single that left him upset.

It was a season's worth of frustration and struggle. A season that Wolf described after Friday's game at Miller Park as a "nightmare, starting from Day 1."

"It's one of those things where it definitely takes years off your life," Wolf said. "Because when you go out there, this game I love playing, but right now, it's really not fun. It seems like in every way it's gone bad for me this year. It's tough."

Wolf allowed seven earned runs on nine hits, including a five-hit, five-run third inning. The loss left him winless since April 30, and marked the third time he threw less than five innings this season.

In his four previous starts, Wolf had pitched well enough to win, only to watch the bullpen blow a lead after he left the game. Friday was a much different story, as the 35-year-old left-hander dropped to 2-6 on the season. Last season, Wolf finished 13-10 with a 3.69 ERA on the way to helping the Brewers reach the National League Championship Series. Nothing has changed since, and that's what leaves Wolf the most frustrated.

"It'd be a lot easier if my fastball was gone and I had no curveball anymore and everything was brutal," Wolf said. "That'd be easy to look at and go, 'Alright, I have to reinvent something.'"

However, that's not the case for Wolf, who said he feels "great" physically and was at a loss for words after the game as to how to fix whatever it is that's going wrong.

The five-run third inning for Arizona came after the teams traded runs in the bottom of the first and top of the second. Willie Bloomquist started the rally in the third with a leadoff double, followed by three straight singles. The last one led to Wolf's outburst into his glove, and prompted a mound visit from catcher George Kottaras.

"It's definitely a frustrating game sometimes, and we're human, and sometimes things happen and we have to move forward," Kottaras said. "You could tell there was some frustration, so I went out there and we talked about some things, and we moved on.

On the very first pitch after the visit, Paul Goldschmidt blasted a three-run homer to make it 6-1.

Arizona extended its lead on Aaron Hill's two-run shot in the fourth inning. Hill, who doubled in the first inning and singled in the third, wasn't done, as his triple in the sixth gave him his second cycle in less than two weeks, making him the first player to record two cycles in one season since Babe Herman in 1931 for the Brooklyn Robins.

Goldschmidt ended the night a triple shy of his own cycle, as the D-backs totaled 14 hits, eight of which went for extra bases.

"We didn't miss the balls up," Hill said. "We're best when we make best on their mistakes. That's what we did tonight. It's always nice when it works out."

Meanwhile, the Brewers' offense sputtered, much like it has most of the season. Arizona starter Ian Kennedy struck out the side in the fourth and fifth innings and allowed just six hits in seven innings. And when the Brewers did put men on base, they too often failed to convert, going 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

Friday's loss was the Brewers' fifth in six games. In four of those five losses, Milwaukee has been unable to score more than three runs, leaving manager Ron Roenicke searching for answers.

"I don't know what else to do," he said. "What do you do? The guys we're putting out there are quality players. We think they're good hitters."

Roenicke said he looks at his lineup each day and says, "That's a pretty good lineup." And despite injuries to key players, he expects more runs on a more consistent basis.

Before the game, Roenicke said the Brewers still have time to turn it around. But as they continue to fall further behind the Reds in the NL Central, Roenicke said something has to change quickly.

"I still talk about it: If we're playing good ball, I still think things will go our way," he said. "I just don't think we're playing good enough ball for us to have things both offensively and pitching-wise go our way."

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