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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 Jacoby Brissett 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,” 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 Jarvis Landry Jersey ,” 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, 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 Jordan Howard Jersey , giving up three runs in 12 2/3 innings, after going 0-3 in his previous four starts.
ARIZONA CARDINALS (8-8)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: S Tyvon Branch; CB Justin Bethel and Tramon Williams; QBs Drew Stanton, Blaine Gabbert and Matt Barkley; DT Frostee Rucker; WRs John Brown, Brittan Golden and Jaron Brown; OLBs Karlos Dansby and Kareem Martin; RB Kerwyn Williams; G Alex Boone; ILB Josh Bynes, OT Khalif Barnes; OL Earl Watford; TE Troy Niklas; LS Aaron Brewer.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DT Xavier Williams.
NEEDS: With no QB on roster, team’s No. 1 need is obvious. General manager Steve Keim seems to want to sign veteran, with Cardinals in Kirk Cousins sweepstakes despite salary cap challenges, especially considering large number of departing free agents, some of whom could be re-signed. Expect Cardinals also to address QB in draft. Other needs are at WR, where ranks are thin to nonexistent behind Larry Fitzgerald. With big contracts of aging, oft-injured G Mike Iupati and T Jared Veldeer, Cardinals will be looking at OL help as well as in secondary. With entire new coaching regime and system, team might look for someone to play FB.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $21 million.
ATLANTA FALCONS (11-7)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DE Adrian Clayborn; FB Derrick Coleman; WRs Taylor Gabriel Bruce Smith Jersey , Andre Roberts and Nick Williams; LBs Jordan Tripp, Sean Weatherspoon and Kemal Ishmael; DTs Dontari Poe, Courtney Upshaw and Ahtyba Rubin; CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: FS Ricardo Allen; RBs Terron Ward and Terrence Magee; G Ben Garland.
NEEDS: Tight end is priority following release of Levine Toilolo. Veteran could be signed to challenge Austin Hooper. Team cut Derrick Shelby and could lose Clayborn, so more pass rush help at defensive end may be needed. If team loses Poe and Upshaw in free agency, another veteran defensive tackle may be signed. Guard is another priority that may be addressed high in draft or in free agency. General manager Thomas Dimitroff said at NFL scouting combine that Gabriel would not be re-signed
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $9 million.
CAROLINA PANTHERS (11-6)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: Gs Andrew Norwell and Amini Silatolu; DEs Julius Peppers and Charles Johnson; DT Star Lotulelei; QB Derek Anderson; TE Ed Dickson, Ss Jairus Byrd and Kurt Coleman; CB Teddy Williams; LB Andrew Gachkar; WR Brenton Bersin; RB Jonathan Stewart.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: TE Scott Simonson; G David Yankey; WR Kaelin Clay; CB LaDarius Gunter.
NEEDS: Panthers need thumper at safety after releasing Coleman, as well as pass rushing defensive ends after release of Johnson and with 37-year-old Peppers’ future uncertain. Team allowed All-Pro guard Norwell to walk, but believes last year’s draft pick Taylor Moton can step into that spot. Center Ryan Kalil and outside linebacker Thomas Davis said they will retire after season, so it’s time to address those areas. Carolina cut Stewart, its all-time leading rusher; team needs complement to Christian McCaffrey in backfield. Finding speedy wide receiver remains priority. Don’t be surprised if Carolina drafts quarterback at some point and parts with Anderson.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $24 million.
CHICAGO BEARS (5-11)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: CB Kyle Fuller (transition tag), Prince Amukamara, Bryce Callahan and Sherrick McManis; WRs Josh Bellamy, Dontrelle Inman and Kendall Wright; QB Mark Sanchez; RB Benny Cunningham; TE Zach Miller; G Josh Sitton; DE Mitch Unrein; LBs Sam Acho A'Shawn Robinson Jersey , Lamarr Houston and Christian Jones.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR Cameron Meredith.
NEEDS: Bears have glaring need for playmaking receivers and could make run at Jacksonville’s Allen Robinson and Rams’ Sammy Watkins in free agency. Chicago needs help on offensive line after declining option on Sitton and with Kyle Long recovering from multiple surgeries. On defense, Bears could use more pass rushers to go with LB Leonard Floyd. Chicago placed transition tag on Fuller, giving them right to match any offer he receives in free agency.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $64 million.
DALLAS COWBOYS (9-7)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DE DeMarcus Lawrence; RB Alfred Morris; WR Brice Butler; T Byron Bell; G Jonathan Cooper; LBs Anthony Hitchens and Kyle Wilber; LS L.P. LaDouceur; C Joe Looney; CB Bene Benwikere.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DE David Irving; FB Keith Smith.
NEEDS: Lawrence will be back after signing for $17.1 million under franchise tag as sides work on long-term deal. Team plans to tender Irving and wants him back. Dallas also wants Hitchens back but likely won’t overpay in scenario that could be similar to last year, when S Barry Church left for Jacksonville. Morris and Butler probably not coming back, and Cowboys could target LG in draft if Cooper doesn’t return. Days of headline-grabbing free agents mostly over with owner Jerry Jones’ son, executive VP Stephen Jones, having strong influence and preferring to avoid big-money deals with players outside organization.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $3.2 million.
DETROIT LIONS (9-7)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DTs Haloti Ngata and Jordan Hill; LBs Tahir Whitehead, Nick Bellore, Dwight Freeney and LB Paul Worrilow; CBs D.J. Hayden and Nevin Lawson; C Travis Swanson; S Don Carey; TE Darren Fells; OTs Greg Robinson and Don Barclay; RB Mike James.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR TJ Jones; LB Brandon Copeland; OL Zac Kerin; RB Zach Zenner.
NEEDS: Lions’ weakness is defensive line and improving it will be priority under first-year coach Matt Patricia. Former New England Patriots defensive coordinator also might want to bolster offensive line to protect QB Matthew Stafford and help boost poorly performing runni Landry Shamet Jersey ,
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