If you missed the end of this one, don’t feel bad. This was one for the die-hards.
After the start of last night’s game was delayed two hours and 20 minutes due to rain, the Brewers and Cardinals ended up playing a four-hour and 30-minute marathon which didn’t end until 3:05 AM ET.
The Brewers grabbed a two-run lead going into the bottom of the eighth, but Yadier Molina tied it up with a two-run shot off Jim Henderson. The bullpens then matched zeros all the way until Ryan Braun launched a solo homer off Lance Lynn in the top of the 13th to give the Brewers a 5-4 lead. John Axford worked around a walk to Lance Berkman to secure the save.
Braun’s solo shot gave him 38 homers for the year, surpassing his previous career-high of 37 from last year. As for the Brewers, well, they aren’t dead yet. Winners of 14 out of their last 18 games, they now sit at 68-70 on the year, six games behind the Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot. They’ll try to keep chipping away over the next two days.
Free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo is headed back to the Brewers on a major league deal, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports. No other terms have been reported yet, as the agreement is still pending a physical.
Gallardo, 31, completed a one-year run with the Mariners before getting his $13 million option declined by the team last month. He provided little value during his time in Seattle, pitching to a 5-10 record in 22 starts and putting up a 5.72 ERA, 4.1 BB/9 and 6.5 SO/9 in 130 2/3 innings as both a starter and reliever.
Still, assuming the veteran righty is on the cusp of a comeback, he may as well try for it with his original club. Gallardo last appeared for the Brewers from 2007 to 2014, racking up a cumulative 20.8 fWAR and peaking during the 2010 season, when he earned his first All-Star nomination and Silver Slugger award. This will be his ninth career season with the club.
Even with Gallardo aboard, the Brewers are expected to continue deepening their pitching stores for 2018. With team ace Jimmy Nelson still recovering from shoulder surgery, the club will enter the season with a projected rotation of Gallardo, Zach Davies, Chase Anderson and Junior Guerra, the latter of whom pitched just 70 1/3 innings in 2017 following a right calf strain and shin contusion. Another big name pitcher could help cement Milwaukee’s rotation and keep them competitive for another year, though they don’t appear to have made any concrete moves in that direction so far.