As impressive as Freddy Peralta’s stuff has looked during his four-year Major League career, his command, to this point, has been the thing that has held him back from truly blossoming as a big leaguer. Peralta entered tonight’s game against Philadelphia with a nifty 2.25 ERA across 28.0 innings, but with 14 walks, and walks were what killed Peralta in the first inning versus the Phillies.
Andrew McCutchen hurt the Brewers once again from the leadoff spot, kicking things off for the Phillies in the bottom of the first with a double on an 0-2 count. Then Brad Miller walked on four pitches, and Rhys Hoskins singled — also on an 0-2 count — to bring home McCutchen and make it 1-0 Phillies. JT Realmuto was walked, again on four pitches, and then Peralta threw a hanging slider to Didi Gregorius that was deposited over the fence in right for a grand slam.
Five batters, 5-0 game, no outs. Oof.
But after putting himself and his team in a big hole from the get, Peralta quickly began to figure things out. Once the bases were clear, he struck out three batters in a row to end the first inning without an further damage. Then he punched out the side in order in the second. The strikeout streak ended with a pop up by Rhys Hoskins in the third, then Realmuto walked to end the stretch of seven set down in a row. But he was erased on a double play by the next batter Gregorius. Peralta allowed a single in the fourth, but recorded two more strikeouts before his day ended — 4 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 8 K, 73 pitches.
Milwaukee chipped away at their early deficit, but failed to cash in on several opportunities late in the game. The Brewers put their first run on the board in the third, on a two-out rally started by a Lorenzo Cain single against old friend Chase Anderson. Dan Vogelbach walked, and then Travis Shaw walked to load the bases. Avisail Garcia (who had four hits today) singled to center and Cain scored, followed by Vogelbach, who was called safe on a sliding tag play at the plate. The call was challenged, however, and ultimately overturned.
In the fifth, Tyrone Taylor led off with his third home run of the season to make it a 5-2 game. With one out, Cain walked and Chase Anderson was pulled from the game for JoJo Romero. Vogelbach singled, then after a Shaw hit one back to the pitcher moving up the runners, Garcia singled up the middle to bring both of them home and cut it to 5-4.
In the sixth, Luke Maile led off with a single but was erased on a double play by Taylor. In the seventh, Cain walked then was out on a double play by Vogelbach. In the eighth, Garcia started with a double, then Billy McKinney punched out and Pablo Reyes flew out to foul territory in right. Pitcher Enyel De Los Santos uncorked a wild pitch to put Garcia on third, then plunked Maile to put two runners on. But with a chance to tie things up, Taylor grounded into a forceout, shortstop to the second baseman.
Cain walked again with one out and stole a base in the ninth, but it went for naught as Luis Urias and Travis Shaw punched out against Jose Alvarado to end the game. The 5-4 loss makes it three straight one-run defeats and four losses in a row overall as the Brewers drop to 17-14. Tomorrow’s series finale is set to kick off at 12:05 PM central, with Zack Wheeller set to toe the slab against Brandon Woodruff as Milwaukee tries to salvage a win in this series.