Tue Jul 20 11:03am EDT
Now that Capuano has put himself in the "W" column again, he needs his manager to put him in the starting rotation permanently.
He struck out four and walked one — getting support from Rickie Weeks(notes) in the form of a two-run home run, along with a solo shot by Prince Fielder(notes) — to claim victory for the first time since May 7, 2007.
For the second time in his career, Capuano underwent elbow ligament replacement surgery in 2008, missing all of that season and 2009, before returning to the majors June 3 for a start at Florida.
"It's going to be pretty tough to get me down tonight," Capuano said. "The time since my last win definitely wasn't lost on me."
Hopefully for the Brewers, it won't be lost on manager Ken Macha that Capuano, who was an effective starter in 2005 and 2006, could be again.
Yovani Gallardo(notes) is one of the top right-handers in the majors and Randy Wolf(notes) is well-paid and not hurt. But certainly the likes of Dave Bush(notes), Chris Narveson(notes) and Manny Parra(notes) all don't deserve to eat up starts at the expense of Capuano.
In his prime, Capuano kept his strikeout rate about 7.5 per nine innings. And his control, before his elbow started bothering him, drastically improved in his All-Star season of 2006.
As a post at Disciples of Uecker points out, Capuano was running his fastball about 88 mph Monday night — more oomph than he was putting on it as a spot reliever.
Not only had Macha buried Capuano in the bullpen, he didn't even use him much in that role — only 6 2/3 innings over the past six weeks.
"I'm not sure what they're going to do after this," Capuano said. "Whatever they do, it's not going to take away from tonight."
He's being a team guy, and he's proud of the comeback trail he's navigating, which is great.
So I'll ask: What is Macha waiting for?
Regarding the NL Central race, the Brewers find themselves in the "not really in it, but not out of it" zone. They have one of the top offenses in the league and a solid back end of the bullpen with Kameron Loe(notes), Zach Braddock(notes) and John Axford(notes).
They need good innings from their starters. Why not try Capuano? Even if the Brewers never make a run, it makes sense to see if Capuano, now 31, still can hack it in the rotation.
In the meantime, stand up and clap for Capuano, who has worked hard just to get this far.
"The winning and losing part of it becomes a lot less important when you're faced with, 'Am I going to be able to play again?'" Capuano said. "Going through a time like that, where you're not sure if you're going to be able to make it back, it really puts the bad stuff in perspective.
"So, coming into this year, I wasn't really thinking about [the winless drought]. But tonight, pitching in the game and then coming out [to] watch the rest of the game, I surprised myself how much I was aware of it, how anxious I felt. And how good it felt for the team to get that win."
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