Braden Looper continues to make Brewers' General Manager Doug Melvin look very smart for signing him late this winter.
Looper improved to 2-0 in the Brewers 3-1 over the Phillies on Wednesday night. He lowered his ERA to 2.12 and now has pitched two quality starts in his three starts for the Crew so far this season.
Looper has brought a veteran leadership quality that many have been waiting three years for Jeff Suppan to show.
Looper doesn't appear to get rattled in tough situations and it seems he and Todd Coffey are the only two pitchers on the staff that aren't afraid to throw strikes.
He has shown that he won't beat himself and won't give in to hitters when the count is in their favor.
I realize that Looper doesn't have the best "stuff" in the rotation, but he is the best pitcher. He knows how to work in different situations and realizes that the advantage sits with the pitcher and not the batter.
Although he missed time in spring training with an injury, he has rebounded nicely and has been a nice cover-up to the early season pitching woes.
While I think that Looper can pitch well for the entire season and keep the Brewers close in every start, he can't be depended on to shut down every offense in every outing. He needs his offense to get into gear and swing the bats like they are capable.
He may not be the "sexy" pick to be a team's ace, but until Yovani Gallardo becomes more consistent and gets more run support, Looper is the ace of the team.
I hope Brewers fans are able to latch onto Looper and give him the respect he deserves. He may be the man to keep the team afloat now and give them a chance for the playoffs in October.
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