Tom Gorzelanny showing he may be better suited in relief role

MILWAUKEE — Tom Gorzelanny’s audition to be in next year’s starting rotation has hit a rough patch, one that may eventually cost him his chance to finish the season as a starting pitcher.

While the veteran left-hander will make his next scheduled start, Gorzelanny didn’t help his cause Wednesday against St. Louis. The Cardinals batted around and scored six runs in the third inning, while Gorzelanny lasted just 3 2/3 innings and allowed seven earned runs on 10 hits.

Milwaukee’s offense battled its way back into the game, but the Cardinals hung on and dropped the Brewers to 13-29 in day games.

After returning from a bruised left elbow to pitch seven shutout innings in Seattle on Aug. 10, Gorzelanny has allowed 12 earned runs in his last two starts.

“(I haven’t been) making good pitches,” Gorzleanny said. “(I’ve been) making mistakes.

“You make mistakes and you pay for them, especially against good-hitting teams. Left balls over the middle, bad pitch selection.”

The Brewers have chosen to give starts down the stretch to Gorzelanny and Marco Estrada instead of young pitchers like Johnny Hellweg, Jimmy Nelson or Tyler Thornburg. Though he’s struggled, Gorzelanny is still in the rotation, but his hold on a spot is slipping.

“I don’t want to say I’m committed to it,” Roenicke said. “(Brewers general manager) Doug (Melvin) and I will talk. But I think right now his next one, yes. Then hopefully we get him back pitching well. His stuff looked fine. It looked crisp. It just was when he missed, they didn’t miss it.”

Historically, Gorzelanny has been better as a reliever. He has a 3.11 ERA in 114 relief appearances and a 4.61 ERA in 120 career starts. The numbers have held true this season, as Gorzelanny has a 4.57 ERA in nine starts and a 2.45 ERA in 32 games out of the bullpen.

Gorzelanny wants to start, but he has to show the Brewers he’s better than what his career numbers show.

“Pitching is important to me, no matter what,” Gorzleanny said. “I like being a starter. It’s something I’ve done most of my career. I want to do the best that I can in any position.”

Milwaukee battled back and got within 7-5 in the fifth inning, but it left a season-high 14 runners on base. Of the 14, 10 were stranded from the fifth inning on and nine were left in scoring position.

The loss also dropped the Brewers to 6-23 on getaway days and 8-32 in games that end a series. Milwaukee has been poor in day games for the past few years but hasn’t been able to figure out why.

In the end it was another series loss for the Brewers, who are now 12-23-6 in series this season, dropping many because they struggle in the final game of the series.

“It’s been something we haven’t been good at — from what it looked like when it was brought to my attention — in five years,” Roenicke said. “I think one out of the last five (years) we’ve played well in day games.”

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