Although this might not be a popular sentiment with the Luke Voit fan club, Giovanny Gallegos has turned into the best pitcher in the St. Louis Cardinals bullpen and he -- not Carlos Martinez -- ought to be the Redbirds closer.
With Paul Goldschmidt at first base and Gallegos piling up strikeouts like cord wood, the Cardinals are a much better team than they would have been if the Birds hadn’t traded Voit to the Yankees for the right-handed pitcher.
Gallegos, who has thrown 60 innings so far this year, has 79 strikeouts, 32 hits allowed and only 12 free passes issued. That adds up to a breathtaking .755 base runners per inning pitched. It’s a stark contrast to Martinez who allows 1.32 base runners to reach via a hit or walk per inning.
Andrew Miller was supposed to be an option in the ninth inning. But he’s had a knack for pouring gasoline on the fire. It was no different Tuesday when he came into the game and gave up a towering home run to cut the St. Louis lead to one run ... and then he walked the next batter he faced to put the tying run on base and the potential winning run at the plate. Simply put, if you play with fire enough times, you’re eventually going to get burned.
Even pitching the seventh inning, Gallegos has put a lot of valuable zeros on the scoreboard for the Cardinals this season. It appears a much more significant role in the bullpen is in order for him. Fortunately, even though it has been an adventure on many nights, Martinez has come through. But if he falters, look for Gallegos to be the next man to get a shot at closing.
The Cardinals were able to hold on Tuesday after Miller made it more interesting than necessary. It was a big win as the Chicago Cubs beat the New York Mets, so St. Louis stayed three games ahead of the Chicago Cubs while the Brewers are becoming smaller in the rear view mirror.
Meanwhile, the Washington Nationals on Tuesday dropped a game to the hapless Baltimore Orioles to further solidify the Redbirds’ playoff position. With the St. Louis win and the Nats loss, the Birds are now tied with Washington with 73-58 records. That’s good enough for the third-best record in the National League behind the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves. If St. Louis was to be surpassed for the NL Central Division lead, they’d be tied for the top spot in the wild card race.
Roof? What roof?
What in the world were the folks who run the stadium doing Tuesday night when they allowed a downpour to catch them off-guard.
They made themselves the butt of a joke by not closing the roof of Miller Park in time to prevent the rain drops from delaying a game in a stadium equipped with a roof. Anybody with a smart phone can call up weather radar in a matter of seconds. There’s just no excuse for something like that to happen.
It was fascinating to see that the Brewers actually have a tarp in a domed stadium. I wonder if Major League Baseball requires all team to have that equipment, roof or not -- or if the folks who run the stadium in Milwaukee have so little faith in their facility operations team that they took out that extra insurance policy.
While the stoppage was a first for the Milwaukee dome, it wasn’t the first weather delay in an MLB domed stadium. That happened during the 1976 season when a rainstorm postponed a game at the Astrodome in Houston. In that case, it wasn’t water on the field that stopped play, however. A heavy downpour shortly before game time caused roads surrounding the ballpark to be flooded, preventing fans and stadium workers from making it inside.