Sometimes one bad pitch is all it takes to lose a baseball game. That was the case Tuesday night for Jim Henderson and the Milwaukee Brewers.
After fighting back from an early deficit to scratch enough runs for the lead against a tough young right-hander, Henderson left a slider over the plate to the wrong hitter in Miami’s lineup.
Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton crushed a two-run home run to dead center off Henderson in the eighth inning, the deciding blow in Milwaukee’s 5-4 loss.
“It’s not that bad of a pitch, but it was in the zone,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “If you throw him a slider, you have to throw it out of the zone. He’s a good breaking ball hitter.
“That slider isn’t that bad, but to that guy? He can go down and get it.”
Henderson struck out pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs to start the inning, but the speedy Juan Pierre legged out an infield single to put the tying run on base. Though he had to pay close attention to Pierre at first base, Henderson was able to strike out Ed Lucas for the second out.
In his second game since coming off the disabled list, Stanton jumped on the first pitch for his fourth home run of the season. It was also Henderson’s second game since returning from the disabled list, an otherwise encouraging outing ruined by just one pitch.
“I felt great,” Henderson said. “It was the one bad pitch that I left up, but otherwise I did throw some good sliders. The fastball was there, I felt good with my legs. I felt good with Pierre at first, I kept him there. Overall, besides the one pitch, it went pretty good.
“I felt like my stuff was really sharp. Stanton was just looking for that one pitch. I left it up, but otherwise I felt strong. My arm felt good, my mechanics felt good, just a bad result today.”
Henderson is being eased back into the closer’s role, but Roenicke chose to use him in a pressure-packed situation Tuesday night. A perfect nine-for-nine in save opportunities coming into the game, Henderson was not only saddled with the loss, but his first blown save.
“Once in a while it is going to happen,” Henderson said. You are going to give up home runs, you are going to give up little hits here and there. Some of it is bad luck, some of it is bad pitches. Tonight it was a bad pitch.”
Peralta recovers nicely: It seemed like Wily Peralta was destined for another short outing when the Marlins struck for three runs in the second inning, but the young right-hander was able to settle in.
Miami struck for three runs on five hits in the second inning, scoring on an RBI double by Logan Morrison and a two-run home run by Derek Dietrich.
“Tough first couple, but then he started getting his off-speed stuff over,” Roenicke said. “He started pitching. He was throwing in the first couple of innings. Just fastballs over the good part of the plate and they were hitting him hard. He made some nice adjustments. We’ll see if we can get him to come out and do that from the first inning on.”
Peralta didn’t allow a hit in his next three innings and exited after throwing just 60 pitches in six innings because Milwaukee needed to pinch-hit for him in the seventh inning.
“Overall, it feels pretty good,” Peralta said. “The second inning, they were aggressive and swinging early. I left a couple of pitches up in the zone, made a couple of mistakes. They hit a home run. Then I fell behind and they hit a double. After that I was able to locate my slider and the fastball and it turned out pretty good.
“It’s been a tough year for me this year. To have an outing like that makes me a little more comfortable.”