Top Play (WPA):
The top play of the game came in the fifth inning. The Brewers were down 3-1 to the Braves. Zach Davies who has been pitching great of late turned in a solid but not great performance. He pitched seven innings giving up three runs on two home runs, striking out three batters, but walking none. It’s not a start worth writing home about, but it is a solid one in which he kept his team in the game.
And, a good thing he did because in the fifth Chris Carter led off the inning with a walk. Keon Broxton then hit a line drive to right field but it was caught by Nick Markakis. This brought up Martin Maldonado. Since Jonathan Lucroy was sent to the Rangers, Maldonado has been getting the bulk of the playing time at catcher, trying to prove that he belongs in the bigs. In this game, he did not disappoint as with the third pitch of the at-bat Maldonado hit a towering shot to center field.
This tied the game at three.
Worst Play (WPA):
The worst play of the game came in the 12th inning. It was actually committed by the last batter of the game, Ramon Flores.
The game, as you might have noticed went into extra innings. In the top half of the 12th, the Braves were able to score a run giving the team a lead going into the ninth. The Brewers were actually lucky to not have given up more than one run in that frame, as the Braves had loaded the bases with nobody out.
Since the Brewers were the home team, they were able to have one last chance to tie or win the game in the bottom half of the twelfth. The first batter was Andy Wilkins, who struck out swinging to start the frame. But, then came Keon Broxton, who has been red-hot of late. He singled on a sharp line drive up the middle and then stole second so that there would be one runner on second base with only one out. But, Maldonado couldn’t work some late inning magic as he struck out swinging for the second out of the inning.
The final batter was Flores, and on the third pitch of the at-bat, he hit a weak ground ball to shortstop for the final out of the game.
Honestly, every “key moment” from now until the end of the season should have something to do with Orlando Arcia. His development for this organization is extremely important. If Arcia is a bust it won’t doom the rebuild, but it certainly will prolong and hurt it.
While Arcia didn’t have a great game at the plate, he did hit his first major league extra-base hit, and it almost went out.
After throwing a couple of balls, Jose Ramirez threw one right down the middle. This was basically a “challenge me pitch”. A reliever that knew that this was a young player and decided to challenge him. The good news is that Arcia crushed the pitch. He timed, and barreled the ball well, shooting it for an opposite field double. The important part wasn’t just that Arcia crushed the pitch, but that it was hit with that type of authority to the opposite field. Not many players have opposite field power, and this is obviously too small a sample to note that, but it is still an encouraging sign.
Hernan Perez’s Concerning Profile:
In recent months, one of the most talked about players on this Brewers squad has been Hernan Perez. Last year, Perez was a very bad player, in fact, he was a below replacement level guy, which is why he started the season in the minor leagues.
But, since getting called up Perez has been a much better player. In fact, Craig Counsell has moved him up in the lineup. In this game, Perez was the number five hitter, but Perez has also been employed in the number three slot a number of times.
And, it’s true Perez has played much better than last year. In 2015, Perez had a slash line of .243/.257/.327. This year his slash line is .291/.314/.455. Much better than last year, but there are still some serious concerns to be had. Primarily, Perez is definitely showing more power at the plate, no one can deny that; however, his on-base percentage still isn’t great. That isn’t the most troubling part of Perez’s game. For that, all you have to do is check out the difference between Perez’s batting average and on-base percentage in 2016. As you can see from the slash line above, there’s a minuscule difference between both stats because he’s simply not walking.
Perez only has a 3.9 percent walk rate, but worst of all, he’s got a strikeout percentage at 24 percent. Even in today’s game, that’s not a very good ratio. Plus, Perez is running a high BABIP of .351, and should be in line for some regression, especially when you consider that his average exit velocity is at 89.3. This exit velocity is 158th out of 308 batters in all baseball with a minimum of 100 at-bats.
It’s not to suggest that Perez hasn’t made any adjustments, or that Perez is going to revert to the player he used to be, rather it’s to suggest that Perez isn’t the player he is now.
Coming Up Next:
With Guerra on the DL, Wily Peralta will get the nod Tuesday night. By now, one would have hoped that the Brewers would simply put Peralta in the bullpen. But, here we are once again, and Peralta is given another chance to start. Hopefully, for the Brewers sake, Peralta will start putting things together, but people have been saying that for a number of years and it hasn’t happened. Maybe it’ll happen this time, but it’s unlikely.