Despite shot at strikeout record, Brewers scratch Yovani Gallardo

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Brewers pitchers are nine strikeouts away from topping the 2003 Cubs for the most in major league history with 1,404. It’s apparently not something worth striving for, however. They’ve opted to scratch Yovani Gallardo from his scheduled start Wednesday against the Padres.

There’s nothing wrong with Gallardo, the team’s lone 200-strikeout guy. All indications are that the Brewers just figure he’s pitched enough this year and there’s no sense running him out there with nothing to play for.

Gallardo has made 33 starts and thrown 204 innings this year. He threw 207 1/3 innings in the regular season last year and 19 more in the playoffs, so it’s not as though he’d be setting any new precedents by making another start.

With Gallardo out of the mix, the Brewers are expected to go with a bullpen day and use several relievers to get through the finale against San Diego. Perhaps they’ll get the nine strikeouts anyway. They’ve averaged 8.67 strikeouts per game this season.

Padres may have more interest in Dallas Keuchel than Bryce Harper

Dallas Keuchel
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An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.

As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.

While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.