Rookie right-hander Freddy Peralta seems to make history every time he steps on the mound for the Milwaukee Brewers barely weeks into his major league career.|
Fittingly enough DJ Moore Jersey , too, since he’s about to face a Cincinnati Reds pitching staff — mainly, reliever Michael Lorenzen — that is doing some pretty historic things themselves. Only with their bats and not their arms.
The 22-year-old Peralta is 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his first four major league starts, including two in which he has struck out 10 or more and allowed only one hit. He’s the first pitcher in baseball’s live-ball ERA to do that, and the first Brewers pitcher to have two such games in a career.
How good has Peralta been? He has permitted more than two hits in only one of the four starts. In 22 2/3 innings, he has allowed only seven hits and struck out 35.
Peralta is the first major league pitcher since at least 1908 to give up three hits or fewer and strike out at least five in each of his first four career games.
“His stuff looks electric from center field, and you can see that in the swings and takes and called strikeouts,” Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich told reporters after Peralta pitched seven shutout innings of one-hit ball to beat the Kansas City Royals 5-1 on Tuesday. “He’s been great every time he goes out there, and hopefully that continues.”
Peralta is doing it without an overpowering fastball, like so many other young pitchers are today. He’s throwing his four-seam fastball at an average velocity of 91.2 mph, or about what an average starter threw 15 years or so ago.
“He’s got a high spin rate and the ball just kind of jumps at you, even though it’s 92 mph Youth Harrison Phillips Jersey ,” Royals manager Ned Yost said.
If the last-place Reds can get to Peralta on Sunday at Great American Ball Park — and no team has yet — they would split a four-game series in which they lost the first two games.
Cincinnati bounced back from a 3-2 deficit Saturday with an eight-run seventh inning powered by a pinch-grand slam from Lorenzen off a Jacobs Barnes fastball and went on to win 12-3 for its 10th victory in 13 games.
“Michael Lorenzen was pretty special,” Reds interim manager Jim Riggleman said.
Pinch-hit grand slams are rare enough. But by a pitcher?
What’s even more remarkable is Lorenzen also homered Friday night during an 8-2 Brewers victory, and he homered in his previous at-bat before that while pinch hitting against the Chicago Cubs on June 24.
“I love playing baseball,” Lorenzen said. “Every day, I look forward to contributing in some form.”
That’s three homers in the last three at-bats for Lorenzen, who’s quickly becoming the National League’s bullpen equivalent of the Angels’ multi-dimensional Shohei Ohtani.
Lorenzen is 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA in 15 games, and he’s 4-for-6 at the plate. He’s the first pitcher with multiple pinch homers in a season since Brooks Kieschnick in 2003 — and he has done it in only a week.
“The guy’s swinging the bat really well, that’s for sure,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We treat him as a position player. Obviously, we’ve got to make some adjustments … he’s swinging it well.”
Then there’s this: No Reds pitcher had hit a grand slam in 59 years, or since Bob Purkey in 1959, until starter Anthony DeScalfani did it June 23 against the Cubs. Now Youth Taron Johnson Jersey , Reds pitchers have hit grand slams twice in eight days.
Lorenzen’s homer was more than enough for the Reds to overcome Eric Thames‘ 14th home run against them in the two seasons and his fourth this season — the first three of which were game-winners.
Only two of the Reds’ 15 hits Saturday were for extra bases — Lorenzen’s homer and a Scooter Gennett double — but they were 8-for-16 with runners in scoring position.
Peralta will go up against veteran right-hander Matt Harvey (3-5), who has recently given the Reds a glimpse of his former dominating self with the New York Mets. He has won each of his last two starts, giving up three runs in 12 2/3 innings, after going 0-3 in his previous four starts.
Cleveland Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer leads the big leagues with 109.3 pitches per game this season.
The 27-year-old emerging star would not have it any other way.
“I feel great,” Bauer said to the Cleveland Plain Dealer when asked about his high pitch counts. “I recover really well, and I’m glad I can get deep in the game for the team.”
Bauer will go for another triple-digit performance Wednesday night when Cleveland (35-30) visits Chicago (23-42) for the third contest of a four-game series at Guaranteed Rate Field. The teams have split the series’ first two games, with the Indians posting a 4-0 victory Monday and the White Sox bouncing back for a 5-1 win Tuesday.
It is not impossible for the White Sox to beat Bauer, but the challenge will be steep.
The right-hander is 5-4 with a 2.62 ERA in 13 starts this season. He has walked 29 and struck out 109 in 86 innings. He has registered double-digit strikeouts in each of his past three outings and in five starts overall this season.
No wonder Indians manager Terry Francona has left Bauer in the game for 100-plus pitches in every start this year.
“I just don’t see a reason (to pull him),” Francona said to the Plain Dealer. “I just feel he deserves to stay out there.”
In 14 career games (12 starts) against the White Sox, Bauer is 6-2 with a 3.55 ERA. He has fanned 89 in 76 innings.
The White Sox will counter with right-hander Dylan Covey (2-1, 2.22 ERA), who has emerged as an early bright spot during a rebuilding season. The 26-year-old struggled badly as a rookie in 2017 Youth Jeremy Kerley Jersey , but he has looked much better since being promoted from Triple-A Charlotte in late May. He has not allowed an earned run in either of his past two starts.
In three career games (one start) against Cleveland, Covey is 0-0 with a 3.68 ERA.
Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor will try to stay hot at the plate after going 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles Tuesday. The 24-year-old has a team-leading 23 doubles to go along with 14 home runs and 35 RBIs.
Five Indians players already have double-digit home runs. Jose Ramirez leads the group with 19, while Edwin Encarnacion (16) and Lindor (14) round out the top three. Yonder Alonso and Michael Brantley have 11 apiece.
Chicago is led in homers by Matt Davidson and Tim Anderson, who each have 11.
White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu will look for another strong game as he tries to strengthen his case to be a starter in the All-Star Game at Nationals Park. The 31-year-old is hitting .286 with 10 home runs and 38 RBIs, and his 25 doubles lead the club.
A second All-Star appearance would be special for Abreu.
“It will be excellent because we play this game for the fans,” Abreu said via an interpreter to mlb.com. “To have the honor to represent them, and they know what I’m doing, that is really big. If that happens, I would be really happy.”