MILWAUKEE -- A year and a day after he hired David Sterns to be his general manager, Milwaukee Brewers chairman and principal owner said he was pleased with the process he's seen in year one of the rebuilding process being orchestrated by Stearns.
The Brewers' 3-1 victory Thursday over Pittsburgh was their 69th of the season, surpassing their total from the entire 2015 campaign.
"I didn't know what to expect this year because we'd never really entered a year like this," Attanasio said. "Even in 2005 (Attanasio's first as the team's owner), we were really not 'rebuilding.' We were building. So I didn't really have any clear expectation, and I would say it's been really difficult at times, and it's been really fun at times."
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Attanasio pointed to impressive seasons being put together by young players like Jonathan Villar, who moved back atop the National League with his 54th stolen base of the season Thursday, and right-hander Zach Davies, who leads the team in victories (11) and is second among starters with 132 strikeouts and a 3.92 ERA.
Davis will get a chance to improve on those numbers Friday, when he takes the mound in the opener of a three-game weekend series with the Reds -- Milwaukee's final home series of the season.
He held the Cubs to three runs his last time out, working out of a bases-loaded jam with nobody out in the fourth inning.
"Getting out of the bases loaded and keeping us at 3-1 there rather than them making it 5-1 or something, that makes it a totally different game," manager Craig Counsell said. "Him putting a zero up there and making pitches was huge."
Davies hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in any of his last five starts. He's 2-1 during that stretch with a 2.87 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings of work.
The Reds come to town refreshed after their final off-day of the season but are looking to get back on track after being swept by the NL Central champion Cubs and have dropped seven of their last eight overall.
Cincinnati's last series victory came earlier this month against the Brewers; the Reds took the first two meetings of a three-game set at Great American Ballpark Sept. 12 and 13.
Right-hander Anthony DeSclafani will take the ball for Cincinnati, looking to bounce back from a rough showing his last time out, when he was charged with six runs (four earned) over four innings in a loss to the Pirates last Saturday.
"I take full responsibility for this game," DeSclafani said afterward. "It was just a bad game. I'm going to put it behind me. I've got two starts left, and I'm trying to make the most of those and hopefully finish the season strong. But today I was bad. Today was not good."
He's made one start against Milwaukee this season, improving to 4-0 when he held the Brewers to three runs while striking out eight over six innings of work back on July 15.