WASHINGTON -- Between Brandon Kintzler earning this third Major League win on Sunday with a scoreless sixth-inning relief appearance, and John Axford being forced to close it out, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke got a good look at a bullpen that has transformed from one of the most maligned units in baseball to a quality, reliable group.
Roenicke said he initially wanted to stay away from Axford in the ninth, as Milwaukee's closer had pitched an inning in each of the previous three days. But after Jose Veras put two runners on base, Roenicke was forced into using Axford for the final out.
Any gripes with the situation were washed away by the 6-2 win, as well as the fact that the Brewers continue to get solid looks at some of their younger and lesser-utilized players this month while remaining in contention.
"[Kintzler's] got a very good fastball with movement on it," Roenicke said. "He's got a strikeout changeup, he's got a nice slider. He's got stuff to be able to get out of anything. You just hope he doesn't have to do it that often."
Kintzler has appeared in eight games since being called up on Sept. 3, tossing 10 1/3 innings with a 2.61 ERA in the process. After beginning the season on the disabled list, Kintzler was eventually designated for assignment on June 28.
The Sept. 1 roster expansion allowing the Brewers to add Kintzler to a bullpen that entered Monday with a 4.52 ERA, 12th in the National League. Adding the right-hander has paid of for both the 28-year-old and the team.
"It's fun," Kintzler said. "It's something I've been thinking about the whole year, thinking I'd be a part of."