ATLANTA (AP) – For Craig Counsell, the decision to have Freddy Peralta start on the mound Monday for Game 3 of the NL Division Series for the Milwaukee Brewers against the Atlanta Braves was an easy one.
The manager said he considered no other option.
“Freddy was the starter,” Counsell said Sunday. “That was the plan probably since July.”
The series, to win three of five games, is tied 1-1, putting pressure on Peralta and rival Ian Anderson, the Braves starter, to give their team the lead. Both pitchers return after spending time on the disabled list heading into the postseason.
It will be Peralta’s first start in the postseason.
“It means a lot to me,” Peralta said after a light workout at Truist Park. “I know it will be a great experience. As a player, I have always dreamed of a moment like this, because I have always been a spectator of this type of game ”.
Peralta won his only start against the Braves this season, scoring six innings in a 10-9 win at Milwaukee on May 16. The Dominican right-hander was 10-5 with a 2.81 ERA in the regular season.
Peralta was on the disabled list for 10 days from August 19 to September 2 with a sore shoulder. He went 1-2 with a 4.70 ERA in his September starts and hasn’t pitched in two weeks since Sept. 26.
“I’ve been working these last few days,” said Peralta. That work included warming up from the bullpen in the eighth inning of Game 1 on Friday. “For me, that helped my arm a lot, which felt better that day.”
The 25-year-old Peralta appeared in only one postseason game, in which he pitched three scoreless innings in relief work against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2018 National League Division Series.
Anderson, 23, has an advantage over Peralta in playoff experience. He is 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA in four postseason games. He started Game 7 of the NL Championship Series, which he lost to the Dodgers, in which he allowed two runs in three innings.