MILWAUKEE — There’s plenty of pressure, highs and lows, and it requires plenty of patience. Life as a bullpen pitcher isn’t easy, but a few of the Brewers practice persistence.
Reliever Matt Albers has a distinction in the Brewers clubhouse — the oldest guy on the team.
“Yeah. Thanks for that,” said Albers. “No. It’s fine. That’s perfect. I’m fine with it. Kind of enjoy that role — the veteran guy who has been around for a while, so I kind of enjoy it.”
With his eighth MLB team, plus a second stint in Houston, Albers was also enjoying a resurgence in 2019 after struggling with injuries and ineffectiveness in 2018, so much so that he was not included on the playoff roster.
“In regular life, folks have good days and bad days, and not in the spotlight,” said Albers. ” So when you are in the spotlight, it’s tough to always stay even. You could go all the way back to my older brother and my dad. I had an older brother who was pretty hard on me and always beat me and pushed me to succeed, and dad the same way. Last year was definitely tough, but you kind of put that behind you and stay ready to go, and this year, I was able to bounce back.”
Tyler Webb is a bounce back guy, too. After a long stretch in the Yankees organization, he was traded to the Brewers in 2017, where he lasted all of two games before being sent to the minors. He has since been with the Padres, and now, Cardinals.
“The people in Milwaukee were great,” said Webb. “It was just, didn’t handle that transition as well as I did the next couple. Not being so comfortable and not knowing everyone’s name — that kind of stuff was hard, and the first time, doing it in Milwaukee, was hard, and the next couple, each time you meet new people, it gets easier.”
Having had their share of trying times, Albers and Webb know that blocking out distractions helps them succeed. In the case of Albers, that distinction is actually a good thing.
“I’m kind of like, we were saying, one of the older ones,” said Albers. “I kind of was fortunate that I didn’t really grow up with social media, so I stay off social media for the most part, so I never look at, I know that can kind of get to guys, you know? Fans, when you come up, always love you and like you a lot, and when you don’t do good, they have kind of the opposite reaction.”
The Brewers bullpen most recently helped put together back-to-back shutout victories over the Cubs.
As of Sunday, Sept. 1, the Brewers remained three games back from Chicago for that second NL Wild Card spot.