Daily Dish: July 21

Gallardo shows that he still has his best stuff





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See also: Today's Baseball America Prospect Report

ZEBULON, N.C.--Given the resounding success Brewers prospect Yovani Gallardo has enjoyed this summer, his recent performance, while not poor by most standards, might have seemed like reason for alarm for the 20-year-old righthander.

His two outings that sandwiched his one-inning stint in the Future's Game were out of character, as Gallardo walked seven and allowed two runs in successive starts. He was somewhat underwhelming in Pittsburgh at the Future's Game as well, but Gallardo was back to his dominant self on Thursday, racking up nine strikeouts in six shutout innings for Double-A Huntsville in a 9-0 win at Carolina.

"His poise on the mound is so present, it's just ridiculous," Huntsville pitching coach Rich Sauveur said. "The command of the pitches, which was much better last night that it had been in the last couple of outings, was very impressive. That was the Gallardo we know."

Gallardo, just two years removed from playing for a high school in downtown Fort Worth, Texas, that faced inferior competition, is showing all the attributes of an experienced, well-schooled prospect. Composure and command are Gallardo's hallmarks. He showed above-average command of three pitches--a slider, fastball and changeup--while getting plenty of poor swings against Carolina.

His fastball sat near 92 mph, touching 94. Although he worked deep in the count too often--he threw 91 pitches, 61 of which were strikes--his ability to make put-away pitches with runners in scoring position was evident. He allowed leadoff runners to reach base in four of his six innings, but recorded a strikeout each time he needed to.

"He's the real deal," manager Don Money said. "He's a very mature kid, and he has as good a fastball last night as he's had for us since he's been here."

Gallardo's changeup was his best secondary offering. It's a hard pitch, at 84 mph, with cutting action rather than the traditional fading break of most changeups.

"When he came up to (Double-A) and showed that to me, I said, that's just outstanding,' " Sauveur said. "It's more like a FOSH change with the grip itself, which makes the cutting action. It's been a damn good pitch."

The win was Gallardo's first since joining Huntsville less than a month ago, and his ERA dipped to 0.59. In 30 innings he's allowed just 21 hits, with 34 strikeouts and 10 walks. Gallardo, a second-round pick in 2004, was among the league leaders in the Florida State League before jumping to Double-A. He was 6-3, 2.09 with 103 strikeouts in 78 innings with 54 hits and 23 walks at high Class A.

"He can run it, cut it, adds and subtracts--he does what he wants to out there," a scout said. "And he's 20 in Double-A? This guy's pretty good. Probably a No. 3 starter, heck, you can even say No. 2."

---ALAN MATTHEWS

A New York Marathon

When Brooklyn manager George Greer was ejected in the first inning of yesterday's game, he probably didn't think he would be waiting in the clubhouse for six hours for it to end. But that is what happened as Brooklyn and Oneonta played 26 innings, with Oneonta prevailing 6-1 after the game was tied at one for 21 innings.

"I went to my office and piece by piece got undressed," Greer told New York Newsday. "I watched all 26 innings on closed-circuit TV saying 'Please, just let us get a run.' "

The Cyclones scored their lone run in the first inning and did not score again for 25 innings. Their offensive futility was highlighted by outfielder Dustin Martin, who went 0-for-11 and infielder Jacob Eigsti, who played third base and shortstop, went 0-for-10 with four strikeouts.

After using six pitchers through 24 innings, outfielder Mark Wright volunteered to pitch for the first time since his junior year in high school. He tossed a scoreless 25th, but the Tigers tagged him for five in the top of the 26th to earn the win. Their offense was paced by shortstop Scott Sizemore, who went 5-for-10 and is now hitting .346/.401/.496.

It was Kids Camp Day at KeySpan Park and 9,004 fans were on hand to watch the game that started that noon.

It was the longest game in the history of the New-York Penn League, but fell seven innings short of the minor league record of 33 that was set by Triple-A Rochester and Pawtucket in 1981.

---MATT MEYERS

QUICK HITS

• Houston has promoted righthander Matt Albers to the big leagues from Double-A Corpus Christi. The 23-year-old was 10-2, 2.17 in 116 innings for the Hooks. In the franchise's two years of existence, he is the first player to get the call directly to the majors.

• Phillies righthander Scott Mathieson picked up a win in his second Triple-A start for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The 22-year-old Canadian threw 121 pitches over 7 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits. He struck out nine and walked three Durham batters in a game the Red Barons won 8-5. Mathieson cruised until he had two outs in the eighth, at which point he walked a batter, hit the next and then allowed a three-run home run to Darnell McDonald. "He had a relatively easy start last time when he threw only 102 pitches," Scranton manager John Russell said. "So we wanted to give him more work. If he gets called back up to the big leagues, he's going to need to be able to throw up to 120 pitches in a given outing." McDonald extended his hitting streak to 25 games and surpassed Buffalo's Ben Francisco for the longest hit streak in the International League this year while extending his Bulls' team record. The previous team record was 23 games, set by Steve Cox in 1999.

• Twins righthander Matt Garza, 22, made everything look easy in his second start for Triple-A Rochester, as the Red Wings defeated Syracuse 7-2 in a game shortened to six innings by rain. Garza went all six and allowed two runs on four hits. He struck out eight SkyChiefs (walking just one) and impressed Syracuse manager Mike Basso with the quality and breadth of his stuff. "Garza had a good fastball and good change last night," he said. "He didn't have his breaking stuff working for the first three innings, but he was real tough to handle when he got them over later in the game." Garza has zoomed to Triple-A in his first full season, where he's off to a 1-1, 3.46 start.

• High Class A Frederick outfielder Nolan Reimold delivered a pinch-hit, three-run home run in the top of the eighth as the Keys came from behind to defeat Kinston, 5-4. Facing Indians closer T.J. Burton--who threw almost all curveballs during his warm-up tosses--Reimold drilled an 0-1 hanging breaking ball over the left-field wall. "I think that was the first pinch-hit I ever got in my life," Reimold said. "I don't remember one--ever. But it was good to come in the game and contribute. All I kept seeing were curveballs, he started me off with a curveball, so I was sitting curveball."

• Cubs lefthander Donald Veal has been sterling since getting promoted from low Class A Peoria to high Class A Daytona, but he came up with his best outing yet Thursday against Clearwater. That's no easy task for a guy who started his Florida State League career with 24 1/3 consecutive innings without giving up an earned run. The 21-year-old lefthander threw five hitless, shutout innings against the Threshers, striking out nine and walking four. He improved to 3-1, 1.03 with 32 strikeouts in 35 innings in the FSL. He does have 20 walks, but he has been able to escape trouble by holding hitters to a .164 average.

• Diamondbacks righthander Cesar Valdez threw a complete game for short-season Yakima, picking up his fourth win in the Bears' 4-1 victory against Salem-Keizer.  He gave up only one run on six hits and fanned eight batters, while walking none.  For the season, he's 4-3, 2.20 in 45 innings. It was his first complete game this season, and the first complete game thrown in the Northwest League this season.

• Boise outfielder Tyler Colvin is finally breaking out his bat.  He's 8-for-16 in his last three games, with eight RBIs, four doubles, a triple and a home run.

• Padres third baseman Felix Carrasco was a single short of the cycle last night. He went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and four runs scored in the Rookie-level Arizona League. The Padres signed Carrasco earlier this year out of the Dominican Republic.

Contributing: Matt Eddy, Chris Kline, John Manuel, Kristin Pratt.