Prior to Sunday, Freddy Peralta’s parents had never seen him pitch professionally. That opportunity alone would have made his MLB debut in Colorado pretty special. But then the 21-year-old went out and did something no Milwaukee Brewers pitcher had done before in his first career start. Facing a solid Rockies lineup, Peralta went out and dominated, striking out 13 batters — the most by a pitcher in his debut in team history — and didn’t allow a hit until the sixth inning of what turned into a 7-3 victory.
“That was fun,” Peralta said with a huge smile afterwards. “My pitching coach just said, smile, breath and pitch. That’s what I did.”
Starting in place of an ill Chase Anderson, Peralta struck out five of the first six batters he faced. In the third, an error and a pair of walks loaded the bases, but Peralta was able to get out of the jam without any damage. It wasn’t until David Dahl singled to center in the sixth inning that the potential for a debut no-hitter was put to rest. Unfazed, Peralta got Charlie Blackmon looking for his 13th strikeout of the game and exited to cheers from Brewers’ fans in attendance.
“He was just magnificent, man,” manager Craig Counsell said. “He got his nerves out in the first three pitches of the game, and then it just kept getting better.”
Called up from Triple-A on Saturday, Peralta’s 13 strikeouts were tied for the fourth-most in an MLB debut since 1893, and the most overall by a Brewers’ pitcher since Wily Peralta also had 13 on Sept. 27, 2014.
With Anderson and Zach Davies likely to return from the disabled list soon, will Peralta get another start for Milwaukee?
“I think we’ll be able to find room for one,” Counsell said with a laugh.
Peralta pitched with a lead much of the game. Milwaukee scored three runs in the second inning, including a 2-run single by Christian Yelich. Third baseman Travis Shaw crushed a 452-foot home run in the third for a 4-0 lead. It stayed that way until a 3-run shot by Jesus Aguilar in the sixth inning.
The victory allowed Milwaukee to take three of four games from Colorado, just the Brewers second series win this year against a team above .500.
Milwaukee now heads to Arizona for a 3-game series against the NL West-leading Diamondbacks.