Before he could earn his fourth save of the season Sunday, Hawks pitcher Tyler Bremer was put in a big jam a self-induced jam.
Bremer, holding onto a 3-1 lead in the ninth inning against Spokane, yielded two hits and a walk to load the bases with no one out.
Then Bremer promptly sat down the next three batters via strikeout.
If I put myself in it, who better than to get out of it but me? Bremer said Tuesday.
A collegiate starter at three schools, lastly Baylor, the bullpen has fit Bremers embrace of pressure. In 14 appearances, hes struck out 31 in 18 innings, issuing four walks with a 2.50 ERA.
Its nice to have a guy like that late in the game, Hawks manager Gary Van Tol said. Hes a leader on the team, he wants the ball in those situations. He stays after it, doesnt lose his composure some guys might throw in the towel if theyre in a tough spot, but he almost thrives off it.
The move to reliever wasnt an immediate success for Bremer, who posted a 5.71 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 17[0xb7] innings last year in his first professional summer, playing for the Hawks and for Mesa in Rookie League.
At first, I almost used it as an excuse, if I had a bad outing, Id say Im not a reliever or Ive never had to do that before, but I got over it the mound is still 60 feet, 6 inches away, Bremer said.
Van Tol said Bremer projects to maintain a similar role hes had with the Hawks as a late-inning or setup man, especially with his improved strikeout rate and the fact batters are hitting .197 off him this season, as opposed to the .304 they hit off him last year.
Hes made some adjustments in terms of his angle, throwing more with a downhill plane on his fastball, Van Tol said. Hed leave the ball a bit up on the plate, but hes getting it lower in the zone. Hes got a great breaking ball, and he can come out of the pen with those two pitches, which are pretty tough to hit.
After he got himself out of that tough situation Sunday, Bremer couldnt hold back with the elation, unleashing a pair of powerful fist pumps. He also looked back on it as another learning experience for the next pressure-packed scenario.
I think that was a first, Bremer said. Its one of those things where now I have that behind me, where I can think back to it if Im ever in a real tough situation and know Im capable of getting out of it.
BOISE, KANE COUNTY SWAP FOUR: The Hawks sent a pair of players to Class A Kane County, and were returned two by the Cougars on Tuesday.
Pitcher Tyler Skulina and outfielder Jose Dore went to Kane County, while pitcher Juan Paniagua and outfielder Kevin Encarnacion came back to Boise Paniagua played for the Hawks last season, while Encarnacion hit .298 in 13 games earlier this summer for Boise.