Brewers rookie turns in one of the most impressive pitching debuts ever

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One of the most impressive pitching debuts we’ve seen in recent memory almost didn’t happen. The Milwaukee Brewers had no intention of starting Freddy Peralta against the Colorado Rockies on Sunday, but fate intervened.

The team’s expected starter on Saturday, Chase Anderson, had to miss his start after coming down with a stomach bug. Because of that, the team threw Brent Suter on Saturday and decided to let Peralta make his major-league debut Sunday.

It was a start Brewers’ fans will remember for a long time. The 21-year-old Peralta carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning. He eventually allowed a single, and was pulled after 5 2/3 innings, but not before he struck out an incredible 13 batters.

Who is Freddy Peralta?

Peralta is a 21-year-old right-handed pitcher who rated as the team’s No. 12 prospect coming into 2018, according to Baseball America. Peralta is listed at 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds, causing scouts to worry about his ability to hold up as a starter. But he has strong mound presence and intelligence that allows him to get the most out of his stuff.

How impressive was Peralta’s performance?

It really depends on how you look at it. He didn’t last all that long, but he was dominant when he was out there. Giving up just one hit is impressive enough, but Peralta’s 13 strikeouts really set him apart.

Those 13 strikeouts are tied for third-most ever in a pitching debut. One more, and he would have tied Stephen Strasburg for second … and we all remember Strasburg’s incredible debut.

But wait, there’s more …

Those were the most strikeouts in a pitching debut that went fewer than seven innings. Pitch count may have gotten the best of him, but when he was out there, Peralta was un-hittable.

Freddy Peralta dazzled for the Brewers in his major-league debut. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Freddy Peralta dazzled for the Brewers in his major-league debut. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

How does it stack up against other excellent debuts?

Obviously, this was pretty great. However, baseball fans have actually seen a stronger pitching debut this season. Pittsburgh Pirates rookie Nick Kingham managed to carry a no-hitter into the seventh inning during his debut in April. Kingham struck out nine during his start.

By game score, Kingham comes out just ahead. His start produced a Game Score of 84. Peralta’s came in at 81. Game Score was created by Bill James. You can find a good explanation of the stat on Baseball-Reference. Game Score isn’t the be-all, end-all stat, but it gives you a good snapshot of a pitcher’s performance. Both of those scores are excellent.

How important was the performance for Peralta?

Consider this: It was the first time Peralta’s family got to see him pitch professionally.

Yeah, pretty awesome.

What’s next for Peralta?

That’s unclear for now. Anderson will miss another start, which should mean Peralta will get at least one more start to prove he belongs. Milwaukee’s starters haven’t been all that impressive, so Peralta could play his way into a regular spot in the rotation if he can continue to impress.

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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik

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