Peralta takes a step forward in start vs. Mets

Despite the loss, Brewers righty lowers ERA, WHIP in 5 2/3-inning outing

Peralta takes a step forward in start vs. Mets

NEW YORK -- On Tuesday, Wily Peralta sat in Brewers manager Craig Counsell's office and the two discussed what was the best course of action regarding Milwaukee's Opening Day starter.

At the time, Peralta had the worst WHIP (1.99) and the second-worst ERA (7.30) among qualifying Major League starters, and Counsell could have opted to skip the right-hander's spot in the rotation.

Instead, Peralta was slotted to make his scheduled start, and in the Brewers' 3-2 loss to the Mets on Friday at Citi Field, he took a step in the right direction.

"Wily was certainly better today," Counsell said. "He got some outs with his slider. I thought there was life to his fastball and I thought the pace that he worked at was really improved. There were definitely some positive signs there."

Staked to a two-run lead in the first following Chris Carter's 13th home run of the season, Peralta strolled through the first five innings, allowing only one run on three hits and a walk. Following a Steven Matz single in the second, Peralta retired 10 consecutive Mets batters.

Carter's two-run blast

"Between starts I've been working on just thinking about grabbing the ball than thinking about execution," Peralta said. "I feel better and I think I'm going in a better direction."

In the sixth, though, Peralta did not have the same success.

After allowing a leadoff single to Mets shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, Peralta fired four consecutive fastballs to Michael Conforto, the last of which, a 95-mph two-seamer, was lifted over the left-field wall to give New York a 3-2 lead.

Conforto's two-run tater

Neither Counsell nor Peralta thought the pitch was a bad one and instead attributed it to a good swing by Conforto.

"It was a little more middle than I wanted it to be, but it was down with good velocity," Peralta said. "When that happens, you have to tip your cap. He's a great hitter and he put a good swing on it. What can you do about it but try and make a better pitch next time?"

Following the home run, Peralta gave up a single to Yoenis Cespedes, who was then caught stealing on the same pitch that set Neil Walker down on strikes. Peralta, though, then hit Lucas Duda and walked Eric Campbell to put an end to his night after 5 2/3 innings.

The outing lowered his ERA from 7.30 to 6.99, but his record dropped to 2-5. It was a positive outing, but Peralta knows he still has some improving to do.

"You don't want to get the loss, especially when you get the lead," Peralta said. "I think I can still do a better job than that."

Troy Provost-Heron is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.