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Game 48 Thoughts: Turning the Season Around

This is the Yovani Gallardo we saw debut as a 21-year old in 2007.  He was attacking hitters early all night, getting early-count outs, and working out of trouble without breaking a sweat.  The result?  Instead of leaving the game in the 6th with 120 pitches, he threw a complete game shutout.

He was just filthy all night, especially when it came to his fastball.  He finished the night with 7 strikeouts, but the last 4 were all called third strikes.  His fastball was still touching 94 in the 9th inning as he neared (and went over) the 120 pitch mark.

Yo did what we were all hoping for, but what few of us actually thought he would do — he outdueled Johan Santana in one of the best-pitched games you’ll see all year.  I don’t think I can remember seeing pitching this good from both sides in a Brewers game — certainly not since 2008, anyway.

Of course, Yo came close to not being rewarded for his hard work.  If Corey Hart doesn’t park his 10th home run of the season in the bullpen, they’re probably still playing right now and the Brewers’ fate would be in the hands of the bullpen.  Every time Hart adds to his current hot streak with a home run, I feel compelled to mention that this was a guy who hit only 12 last season, and only 20 in 2008.  Needless to say, he’s on pace to easily surpass his career high of 24.

With Ryan Braun continuing to struggle at home, Prince Fielder not seeing enough pitches to get a power stroke going, and Casey McGehee starting to come back down to earth, Hart’s hitting has been keeping the Brewers offense afloat.

I’d like to say that it feels nice to see the Brewers steal one from the Mets considering Santana’s performance, but that would be shortchanging Yo’s outing.  The Brewers deserved to win this game perhaps more than any this season, and Yo is showing us why he’s worth every penny of his contract extension.

FanGraphs Win Probability

W: Yovani Gallardo (5-2)
L: Ryota Igarashi (0-1)

NYM HR: None
MIL HR: Corey Hart (10)