That statement may come as a shock to many of you, but it is alarmingly true. The only Brewers game I was able to see this season, with my own two eyes, was in June. Yo took the mound against a struggling New York Mets team that gloomy day. Gallardo gave up 10 hits in 4 innings of work. He walked onto the field to pitch the 5th inning, but gave up 4 straight base hits. If you ask me, that performance is closer to what I have come to expect from the home grown product. Not the ferocious fireballer of the past few seasons.
At this stage in the season, as fans, we have to be real with each other. I would rather see Marcum or (dare I say) Randy Wolf on the hill rather than Gallardo with a big game on the line. Yo makes me very nervous because I never know which guy is going to show up, the one who throws 95mph gas, or the guy who relies on his breaking ball to a point of self-destruction. So far this season, he has started 30 games (as many as 2009 and one less than 2010) and given up more home runs (24) and hits (181) than at any other time in his career. This season Yo has also struck out 30 less batters than the previous 2 seasons in the same amount of games. All season I have had this feeling that something was not right with him, but it was never due to health. Yo gets scared of his fastball and that is his undoing.
Early in the season, Yo was clearly afraid of his fastball. It was like watching Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn throw the Terminator, you did not wonder IF it would get hit, you just wondered when and how far. Then, like someone flipped on a light switch, Gallardo won 6 straight games and had an ERA under 1.50 during that tear. Then the game I witnessed brought that streak to a screeching hault. After that night in June, Yo’s record was 8-3. That record as of this morning stands at 15-10, which means he has gone 7-7 since the beginning of June. Maybe it is just me, but that record over the past three months does not instill a whole lot of faith. Especially when you consider that the team only lost 7 games in all of August!!!
Please do not misunderstand, Yo Gallardo is a terrific pitcher and baseball player in general. But it appears to me as if we will be playing in October, and I am going to stop lying to myself and start facing facts. I would love to have you all join me, but I suspect some of you wil not agree with me on this one.
Here is something else that we all need to accept; Yuni Betancourt is a drain on this offense. If Taylor Green can play shortstop, we should throw him out there now to get him ready for October. The team is better off just taking the out every time the Yuni B steps up to the plate. I give him a great deal of credit for the teams surge in late July and into August, but for the past few weeks he has gone back to the same old horse poop. This is why Seattle dumped him and why the Royals would not trade us Greinke unless we took Betancourt, he is no good. The glove has improved drastically over what I witnessed a few years back in Seattle, but the guy just refuses to take a pitch and that is not acceptable any more. Certainly not on a playoff team.
Tonight is the final time that we will have the misfortune of playing the Cardinals in 2011. A win tonight would push the magic number to 9, and with the Cardinals upcoming schedule they may do all of the work for us. Greinke has not lost to the Red Birds this season, so let’s hope he keeps that streak alive. As my friend T-Plush would say, Get Loud Nation!!! Ahhhhh!!!!