While the Milwaukee Brewers continue a run at the second Wild Card in the National League, pitcher Yovani Gallardo is putting together a stretch of performances that parallel his team’s late-season success.
With a 6-0 win in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, Gallardo upped his season record to 16-8, but it is his last 10 starts that are truly eye-opening: In his last 10 starts dating back to July 31, the Brewers are 10-0, with Gallardo getting the victory in eight of those contests. He has 66 strikeouts in 67 innings pitched and a 2.69 ERA. Opponents are batting only .214 against Gallardo in the last 10 outings.
Take a look at Gallardo’s stat line over the past four seasons and you’ll see a consistency that is rare in the history of the franchise (and in the history of baseball). It raises the question, is Gallardo the most consistent starting pitcher the Brewers have had in their history?
To answer that question, let me offer a few stats.
13 or more wins in a season. With his 16 wins to date, Gallardo has now won 13 or more games in a season four straight years. He is only the second pitcher in Brewers history to accomplish that.
Teddy Higuera had four straight seasons with 13 or more wins from 1985-88. Only two other pitchers in team history have won 13 or more games in four or more seasons: Mike Caldwell did it in four seasons; Jim Slaton did it in five seasons.
Who is the best starting pitcher in Brewers history?
30 or more starts in a season. With his 31 starts to date, Gallardo has now started 30 or more games in four straight seasons. He is one of four pitchers to reach this mark in four straight campaigns in Brewers history. The others: Slaton, Higuera and Scott Karl. Three other Brewers hurlers had a total of four seasons (or more) with 30 or more starts: Ben Sheets, Bill Wegman and Caldwell.
200 or more strikeouts in a season. Through September 18, Gallardo has 194 strikeouts this season. Chances are pretty good that he will reach the 200 mark for the fourth straight year. Gallardo is the only pitcher in Brewers' history to have 200 or more K's in a season three times. The only other pitcher to reach that 200-strikeout mark twice in his career with Milwaukee is Higuera.
185 or more innings pitched in a season. With his 193 innings pitched to date, Gallardo has now pitched 185 or more innings in four straight seasons. He is one of only four Brewers' pitchers to accomplish this in four (or more) consecutive years.
The others are Jim Colborn, Slaton and Higuera. Three other Brewers pitchers compiled 185 or more innings pitched in four or more seasons with the Brewers: Wegman, Sheets and Caldwell.
To show you how rare Gallardo’s last four seasons have been at the major league level, consider this: In MLB history, there have been 37 starting pitchers who have had 13 wins, 30 starts, 200 strikeouts and 185 innings pitched in four or more seasons (Gallardo should become the 38th when he passes the 200 mark in strikeouts). Of those 37 pitchers, only 22 did it in at least four straight seasons (Gallardo would become the 23rd when he gets his 200th K).
Is Gallardo the most consistent starting pitcher the Brewers have had in franchise history? You be the judge. But if he stays healthy, successful and with the Brewers, there might be another label that gets tossed on Gallardo… the best pitcher in Brewers' history.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp