Although he seemed to be an afterthought for the Milwaukee Brewers following a late-June demotion, Mike Fiers has worked has way into the team's future plans since getting recalled last month.
The promising right-hander hopes to limit an opponent to two runs or less for the ninth time in 10 starts in Sunday's regular-season finale against the visiting Chicago Cubs.Fiers (6-4, 1.92 ERA) provided little more than organizational pitching depth while he was shuttled back-and-forth between Milwaukee (82-79) and Triple-A Nashville early in the season.Though he had been dominant in the minors, the 29-year-old was limited to just four relief appearances at the big league level before getting sent down for six weeks on June 25.Fiers was finally given a chance as a starter when Matt Garza suffered a strained oblique in early August. He's certainly made the most of it, limiting opponents to a .167 average while going 6-3 with a 1.84 ERA in nine starts.Only San Francisco's Jake Peavy (1.35), Pittsburgh's Edinson Volquez (1.53), the Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw (1.67) and Washington's Stephen Strasburg (1.69) have better ERAs since Aug. 9.Fiers has been particularly effective at Miller Park, winning all five of his starts while posting a 1.60 ERA.However, he's received just one run from the offense while taking the loss in his last two outings. He allowed two runs and four hits over five innings in Tuesday's 3-1 defeat at Cincinnati.Fiers is 2-0 with an 0.68 ERA in two career road starts against the Cubs after limiting them to three hits with a career-high 14 strikeouts over six shutout innings in a 6-2 victory Aug. 14.Anthony Rizzo has had the most success when facing Fiers, going 2 for 3 with a double. The slugging first baseman had two of the team's five hits in Saturday's 2-1 loss."We chased a lot of pitches," outfielder Chris Coghlan said after Chicago struck out 16 times.Now the last-place Cubs (72-89) will try to avoid their fourth consecutive 90-loss season.Jacob Turner (5-11, 6.25) is hoping to make a push for a 2015 rotation spot as he replaces rookie Kyle Hendricks, who has reached his innings limit.Turner, however, has struggled with a 1-4 record and 7.82 ERA in five starts with Chicago. He gave up five runs and eight hits over five innings in Sunday's 8-5 home loss to the Dodgers.Turner's only victory over that span came versus Milwaukee on Sept. 1, when he allowed one run over 6 1/3 innings in a 4-2 home victory. He's gone 2-1 with a 2.19 ERA in four career starts against the Brewers.Milwaukee's Khris Davis has a home run and a double in five at-bats when facing Turner this season.Jonathan Lucroy set the single-season record for doubles by a catcher with his 46th on Saturday, topping the mark established by Texas' Ivan Rodriguez in 1996. He also matched a club record with his 53 doubles overall."I wish I could have done that more often during the season," the All-Star told MLB's official website.Jean Segura has gone 8 for 15 in his last four games after finishing with two hits Saturday, while Francisco Rodriguez moved into 10th place on baseball's career saves list with his 44th on the season.