Freddy Peralta has faced some tough situations against the Los Angeles Dodgers in his young MLB career.
He’s scheduled to start for the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night when they host the Dodgers in the second game of their four-game series. And in the Dodgers, he’ll see a team thirsty for runs after they were nearly shut out for the first time in 20 months on Thursday.
Five pitchers combined to blank the Dodgers for 8 2/3 innings before pinch-hitter Austin Barnes dropped an RBI single in front of left fielder Tyrone Taylor with two outs in the ninth in the 2-1 loss.
The Dodgers were hoping to begin their 10-game road trip on a better note after dropping three of four to the visiting San Diego Padres last weekend, followed by losing two of three to the Cincinnati Reds.
Peralta (2-0, 2.45 ERA) has one other regular-season start against Los Angeles and has faced them twice out of the bullpen during the playoffs.
He pitched one inning against the Dodgers in the National League wild-card series last season, giving up a solo home run to Corey Seager in the 4-2 loss in Game 1.
Peralta also threw three innings of shutout relief against the Dodgers in Game 4 of the 2018 NLCS, which the Dodgers also won 2-1 in 13 innings.
Three of his five outings this month have come against the Chicago Cubs, and he has fared well against them, allowing three runs in 15 innings with 25 strikeouts and seven walks.
He’ll have an extra day’s rest heading into this start, as Eric Lauer was recalled from Milwaukee’s alternate training site and then threw five shutout innings in the win on Thursday.
Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said the Brewers are comfortable playing in low-scoring games.
“I think we’re playing really good defense and it helps keep runs off the board,” Counsell said. “It requires less of your offense, and our offense has been able to score runs where we needed them.”
The Dodgers plan to use an array of relievers on Friday. They’ll be playing for the ninth of 14 consecutive days, and the strategy gives manager Dave Roberts a window to reset the rotation before the next day off on Thursday.
Thanks to Trevor Bauer throwing an eight-inning complete game on Thursday, the Los Angeles bullpen is well-rested.
“It was huge,” Roberts said of Bauer’s 113-pitch effort. “We’re at full strength (Friday), which is a credit to Trevor.”
Roberts said he hopes the Dodgers can put pressure on Peralta a lot earlier than they did against Lauer. Los Angeles didn’t put multiple runners on base until the fifth inning.
The first two times the Dodgers put their leadoff runner on base, the next batter hit into a double play.
They put the leadoff runner on again in the ninth, and scored their only run.
“Ideally, you like to get that leadoff guy on base, but we do extend innings with two outs, which is a good thing,” Roberts said. “It’s still hard in this league to string three hits together, so when you get that leadoff guy on it creates stress earlier, better chance to produce runs, but we’re a good offensive ball club. (Thursday) night, we just couldn’t put enough hits together.”
–Field Level Media
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