Ron Roenicke posed a question he's probably asked himself a variation of a lot between last season and the beginning of 2013.
"Our choices for the late innings, it's the same thing," Roenicke said. "When (Jim) Henderson is down, then where do you go to?"
The Brewers' manager turned to Michael Gonzalez and John Axford Tuesday night, and the results were all too similar to the struggling relievers' previous early-season performances.
Between missed offensive opportunities early and continued bullpen struggles late, the Brewers wasted a fantastic pitching performance from starter Wily Peralta in a 6-3 loss to the Cubs.
On a bitterly cold night at Wrigley Field, Peralta's power sinker was well-located and hard to hit. He was consistently down in the strike zone and mixed in his slider and changeup, as well.
"When you have a guy throwing the ball like that, you feel like you should give the guy a win," Roenicke said.
Peralta allowed just an unearned run as he cruised into the seventh inning before allowing a one-out single to Steve Clevenger and a double to David DeJesus. Peralta got Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro to ground out, but a run scored to make it 3-2.
Roenicke then turned the lefty Gonzalez to face the left-handed-hitting Anthony Rizzo, who tied the game with a double. Then it was Axford's turn, and he threw Alfonso Soriano three straight sliders to get him to fly out to end the inning.
Recently demoted as Milwaukee's closer, Axford came back out for the eighth inning in a tie game. Axford loaded the bases before he was pulled and was saddled with the loss when Alfredo Figaro allowed all three runs to score.
Brewers seeking answers in bullpen
Fox Sports Wisconsin | Apr 10