Wednesday’s Game: Brewers 1, Pirates 0
Record: 11-10, Tied for Second Place
—Yovani Gallardo just became an ace. Eight innings, two hits, one walk, zero runs and 11 strikeouts. He took a perfect game two outs deep into the fifth inning. Simply dominant.
We all knew he had the stuff and the moxie to be a No. 1 pitcher eventually, but he showed Wednesday that he’s ready now.
—And, as if that wasn’t enough, he stroked a home run in the seventh on an 0-2 count for the only run of the game. That’s two home runs this season in only 12 at-bats. To put that into perspective, if he were to continue that pace and he collected 550 at-bats this season, Gallardo would hit 92 home runs while also maintaining his .333 average, of course.
It’s the first 1-0 game won by the starting pitcher’s home run since Aug. 28, 2002, when Odalis Perez homered off Rick Helling to lead the Dodgers over the Diamondbacks. It’s the seventh time it’s happened in the last 50 years, with Early Winn, Milt Pappas, Jim Bunning, Juan Pizarro, and Bob Welch also completing the feat.
—Carlos Villanueva closed out the tight game with a very nice inning. Villa has been shaky so far this season, but he’s a very important part of the bullpen and hopefully this is a step in the right direction for him.
—Ryan Braun went 0-for-4 and struck out three times. Ian Snell made him look bad.
—The Brewers are over .500 for the first time this season. Who would’ve thought they’d get back to .500 before April was over after that horrible start? They’ve won seven out of their last eight to do it.
—That’s 15 wins in a row against Pittsburgh and 18 in a row at Miller Park. Can we please play the Pirates more often? The weirdest part about the streak is that most of the games have been close and the Brewers just always find a way to pull it out. There is no question that the Brewers are in the Pirates' heads now.
—Pirates fans are whining about a complete Brewer beatdown by calling Braun “Cryin’ Braun” because of his comments related to getting intentionally hit with a high fastball. Look Bucco backers, the pitch Ryan got hit with was complete BS. Braun spoke out about it because he has guts, something your weak-ass team clearly lacks. You want to hear crying? Look no further than your whimpering excuses for hitters after they pouted to the home-plate umpire as Yovani dominated them. And it didn’t end on the diamond. Check out this comment after the game:
“Go talk to the home-plate umpire,” (Adam) LaRoche said, referring to Marty Foster. “He seemed to like him (Gallardo). See what he has to say about it. Old Marty back there, he was on his game today.”
WAAAAH! (sniffle, sniffle)
—And while we’re talking to you Pirates fans, the untucking of the jerseys really bothers you? Seriously? I’ve never understood why players untucking jerseys after a game upsets opposing teams’ fans (and even some players) so much. How is that more offensive than jumping into each other in celebration, fist pumping, high-fives, fist bumps, acting like a deranged douchebag on heroin (Jose Valverde) or any number of other celebratory acts players in MLB do? Please explain.
—Corey Hart is taking walks? Anything is possible!
—Jorge Julio will be a lot more valuable to this team if he can control his pitches. There’s no question the guy has good stuff. He just hasn’t been able to throw strikes, until Tuesday. More HERE.
—Jesse Motiff of Bleacher Report asks why J.J. Hardy is getting a free pass from criticism. I don’t think he’s getting a free pass, but he’s certainly received less criticism than other guys.
—Speaking of Hardy, he has the seventh-worst BABIP in MLB. BABIP is mostly luck and, as the announcers have been pointing out, Hardy is hitting into a lot of hard outs. It’s very likely his luck will turn and he should start getting a few “cheap” hits to even this out.
—Trevor Hoffman is included on a list of free-agent acquisitions off on the wrong foot to start 2009. Hopefully he’ll make us all forget his “slow start” with a bunch of “Hell’s Bells” this season.
—Ken Macha is from the Pittsburgh area and he got some press from his home state. One of the questions about Macha coming in was how he would be able to handle his reported rift with catcher Jason Kendall. Not a problem, according to Kendall:
“It was all blown out of proportion. We have zero problems. There was nothing to (smooth over).”
—The Rattlers beat Great Lakes 6-3. I was at the game and Wily Peralta was really impressive. Stats aside, he just looks like a powerful pitcher. He threw three innings, allowing one hit and no runs. Catcher Corey Kemp hit a home run and drove in four and Brett Lawrie hit the ball hard all night, going 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. Cody Adams did not have his best stuff. He gave up 10 hits and three runs (two earned) in five innings. He didn’t walk anyone though. More HERE and HERE.
—The Brewers still see Nashville Sounds third baseman Mat Gamel, the organization’s top prospect, as a third baseman despite his high error total. Gamel is an offensive force, but his liabilities at third make many suggest his future is at first base or a corner outfield spot. It’s somewhat encouraging that Gamel’s errors are mostly coming on throws because that should be more fixable than shoddy fielding, but you’d think he would have made more progress by now.
—Chris Cody of the Stars won the Southern League Pitcher of the Week award after recording two road wins last week. He lowered his ERA to 1.29 after allowing just one earned run over 12 innings of work during the week and has 20 strikeouts and a .182 opponents' batting average after allowing only three earned runs in 21 innings of action.
—Pitcher Mike Jones of Brevard County went seven innings, allowing two runs and four hits, to lead the Manatees past the Dayton Cubs Wednesday. The Manatees took eight walks in the game. More HERE.
“This is going to be our rival team and we had a tough (4-2) loss (Monday) night, and I’m just proud that we came out and fought our (butts) off,” Anundsen said after he was mobbed by his teammates in the on-field celebration.
“I’m just proud of the guys behind me and my catcher... (The Cubs) better get used to this. That’s all I can say.”
—The Cubs got blasted 10-0 Wednesday by the Diamondbacks. They went 2-for-4 on their road trip. The baby bears are now at .500, a half-game behind the Brewers. Ryan Dempster has a 5.4 ERA through his first five starts. Yeah, it’s early, but can we officially proclaim last year an aberration for this guy? How’s that four-year, $52 million contract going to look if he keeps this up?
—Cubs followers seem surprised that Jim Hendry’s offseason moves were foolish. Everyone else already knew this.