Pitcher Wily Peralta clubs 429-foot homer, tosses bat like a pro
Home runs hit by pitchers are almost always entertaining. So, too, are emphatic bat tosses. Combine the two and you have the groundwork for something special.
In the fourth inning of Saturday's Mets-Brewers game at Miller Park, Milwaukee starter Wily Peralta stepped up and clobbered a Logan Verrett offering deep into left-center, giving him the first homer by a Brewers pitcher since Yovani Gallardo on April 29, 2013. And when we say he hit it deep, we mean it -- this was a 429-foot blast that would make sense coming from someone like Ryan Braun, but not necessarily a pitcher with zero career long balls.
And yet, as MLB.com's Adam McCalvy wrote earlier this season, maybe it does make sense. Peralta, you see, participates in softball home run derbies with Mariners star Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz and Carlos Gomez during the offseason. In that derby, he told McCalvy, he isn't afraid to let it air out:
"When you get into a home run derby, you want to show that you can win."
In an absolutely perfect twist, Mets starter Bartolo Colon -- who also hit his first career homer earlier this season, much to the thrill of nearly everybody -- is also a part of Cano's offseason derby competition.
Maybe that's why teammate Ryan Braun wasn't particularly surprised: "I mean, we felt like it was kind of about time," he told MLB.com's Curt Hogg. "When you see him take batting practice every day, some of you guys have probably seen him take BP and he's probably among the league leaders in batting practice home runs. You figured it was only a matter of time before he got one."
Peralta, for his part, made sure he was prepared for his big moment: "I told them that when I get my first one, I'm going to pimp it. They said, 'Nah, you're not going to do it.' I said, 'Yes.' I got the first one and I did."
All this might help explain just how he launched such an impressive blast, though now it seems inevitable that Peralta won't finish his career with just the lone round-tripper ...