By Robert Dominguez
Don’t disrespect pitcher Yovani Gallardo. Especially when he’s at the plate.
The Brewers ace was having an off-year when on this day in béisbol, May 27, 2014, the Orioles learned the hard way how good Gallardo can be — as a hitter.
Milwaukee had blown a 5-0 lead late in the game and had managed to tie the score at 6-all in the bottom of the 9th in an exciting interleague game.
But in the bottom of the 10th the Brewers were in a tough spot. With two outs and no one on base, Baltimore had opted to intentionally walk Mark Reynolds with reliever Francisco Rodriguez due up next — and no position players left on the bench.
Up stepped Gallardo, who promptly laced a double to deep centerfield, scoring Reynolds for the walk-off victory — and showing the disheartened Orioles that some National league pitchers can rake.
Gallardo was actually a pretty good-hitting pitcher. The Mexican-born righty, who spent eight of his 12 seasons with Milwaukee in the DH-less National League, had 12 career home runs and twice hit better than .250.
Though he had a disappointing 2014 season on the mound, he was a pretty good pitcher, too, with 121 lifetime wins.
Robert Dominguez is co-author of “Bronx Bummers: The Unofficial History of the New York Yankees’ Bad Boys, Blunders and Brawls” and writer of the upcoming “El Salón: The Trials and Triumphs of Baseball’s Latino Hall of Famers.”
Photo source: Joshua Mayer — Under Creative Commons License