MILWAUKEE -- With two starting pitchers on the disabled list before the Brewers banked a win, Wily Peralta's five scoreless innings Wednesday represented just the sort of outing Milwaukee needed in a 6-1 victory over the Rockies at Miller Park.Not to mention what the outing meant to Peralta himself."This is
MILWAUKEE -- With two starting pitchers on the disabled list before the Brewers banked a win, Wily Peralta's five scoreless innings Wednesday represented just the sort of outing Milwaukee needed in a 6-1 victory over the Rockies at Miller Park.
Not to mention what the outing meant to Peralta himself.
"This is a big season for me this year," said Peralta, who struggled so mightily last season -- beginning with a loss on Opening Day -- that he spent more than two months in the Minors. "I wanted to make sure I started the season pretty strong, because the last two years, I struggled in the first half."
Neftali Feliz recorded a one-out save in his Brewers debut. It was the 100th save of his career.
Brewers newcomers Eric Thames and Travis Shaw each homered for the first time, and Jonathan Villar added a two-run shot in the eighth. The Rockies scored in the ninth on a two-out single by Mark Reynolds, avoiding what would have been their first shutout loss in Milwaukee since 2000 -- the Brewers' final season at County Stadium.
Peralta touched 98.8 mph with his second pitch -- he threw only five pitches harder all of last season, according to Statcast™ -- and scattered three hits and a walk, while striking out five before exiting at the 90-pitch mark. It marked a continuation of Peralta's surge to end 2016, when he returned from a demotion to post a 2.92 ERA over 10 late-season starts.
"He was pumped -- first game of the season, throwing 99, 98, and he was hitting spots," Rockies right fielder Carlos Gonzalez said. "Normally, he's a guy that makes a lot of mistakes. Today, he was on a roll."
Peralta spent the early innings Wednesday dueling with Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood, who didn't allow a run through the first three innings, but took Colorado's first loss after allowing four earned runs on seven hits in six innings.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Powerful introduction: Milwaukee general manager David Stearns signed first baseman Thames and traded for third baseman Shaw because he desired some left-handed power for a righty-dominant lineup. Both newcomers delivered their first Brewers homers in the fourth inning at Chatwood's expense -- Thames' towering home run for a 1-0 lead and Shaw's a two-run shot two batters later. For Thames, who spent the past three seasons mashing in the Korea Baseball Organization, it marked his first Major League home run since Sept. 23, 2012.
"I'm just trying to show my teammates and the people of Milwaukee and Wisconsin that I'm here for a reason," Thames said. "I'm here to do a job." More >
The gloves finally arrived: Disjointed would be a kind description of the Brewers' defense in the first two games, but solid glove work helped reliever Carlos Torres deny the Rockies a big sixth inning. Torres walked Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu to open the frame, but Thames dove to steal an RBI from Gonzalez and threw to second for a forceout. Then, Nolan Arenado grounded into an inning-ending double play.
"It looked like a potential breakthrough there," Rockies manager Bud Black said. "CarGo hit a bullet, and somehow, Thames made the play. But it was more about their pitching, and we couldn't solve it."
Said Brewers manager Craig Counsell: "That was a huge play. They really had something going if that ball gets through with Arenado coming up."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Chatwood led all Major League pitchers that compiled at least 80 innings with a 1.69 road ERA last season. The only time he gave up four runs away from Coors Field last year was Aug. 14, when he yielded four in four innings. After that outing, Chatwood was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a mid-back strain.
GONZALEZ MAKES SENSATIONAL PLAY
A sparkling play by Gonzalez in right field prevented a run in the third, when the game was scoreless. Gonzalez made a shoestring catch on a Peralta line drive -- a 46-percent catch probability, according to Statcast™ -- then threw out Orlando Arcia at the plate. Arcia nearly got his fingertips on home plate as he slid past, but missed by a couple of inches. More >
Rockies: Righty Antonio Senzatela, who was limited to seven starts last year at Double-A Hartford because of right shoulder inflammation and the death of his mother in Venezuela, was one of two rookies to earn a rotation spot. He will make his Major League debut against the Brewers at Miller Park on Thursday at 11:40 a.m. MT.
Brewers: When Matt Garza's groin injury sent him to the 10-day disabled list, it opened a spot in the Brewers' rotation for Chase Anderson, who will start Thursday's 12:40 p.m. CT series finale. Anderson authored a strong finish last season, going 5-1 with a 2.56 ERA over his final 12 starts. However, he might have opened 2017 in the bullpen had Garza not been sidelined.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.
Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and** like his Facebook page**.