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Thursday, April 9, 2009
Unit, Gallardo make a little history

David Pinto on the game's latest hitting sensation:
  Kyle Terada/US PRESSWIRE
  Yovani Gallardo watches his three-run homer off Randy Johnson Wednesday night.
Pinto's right about the home runs. The interesting question, I think, is why he's giving up more home runs. Johnson's strikeout rate is slightly lower since 2004, and as a result he's given up more hits, and of course some of those hits have flown over the fence. So is he giving up more homers because he's striking out fewer hitters? Or is he giving up more homers because he's throwing more fat pitches?

Or maybe it's not so interesting at all ... maybe the results are what's interesting. Randy Johnson turned 45 last September, near the end of a season in which he won 11 games and posted an ERA significantly better than average. I suppose that's interesting enough, with the potential to get even more interesting this season.

As for Gallardo, I'm not completely sure that his hitting's a fluke. He didn't show a great deal of power in the minors, but he did bat .333/.373/.458 in 54 plate appearances. Throw in his (now) three home runs in 51 career at-bats in the majors -- not to mention his fantastic pitching equipment -- and Micah Owings would probably kill to be Yovani Gallardo right about now.