Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Yovani Gallardo (pictured) left no doubt among baseball fans Saturday that Mexico is being represented in the MLB playoffs. Gallardo, who was born in La Piedad, Michoacan in 1986, tossed eight innings of four-hit ball for the Brewers and earned the 4-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, striking out nine batters and walking one in the opening game of their National League Division Series.
The right-handed Gallardo, who was 17-10 with a 3.52 ERA in the regular season, is one of five Mexican-born players performing in the MLB postseason all pitchers. Among the other four is a Milwaukee teammate, reliever Marco Estrada. Estrada, a Sonora native who attended Long Beach State, was 4-8 with a 4.08 ERA in 92 innings for the Brewers, striking out 88 hitters.
Two other Mexicano pitchers work for the St. Louis Cardinals: Starter Jaime Garcia and closer Fernando Salas. Garcia (from Reynosa) went 13-7 with a 3.56 ERA this year after finishing third in balloting for the National League Rookie of the Year in 2010, while Salas (a Sonoran) was 5-6 with 24 saves and a 2.28 ERA in 75 innings for the Cards.
The lone American Leaguer from South of the Border is Yankees pitcher Luis Ayala, a seven-year MLB veteran making New York the sixth big league city he’s hurled in since 2003. After not pitching in the majors last year, the Los Mochis-born Ayala went 2-2 with a 2.09 ERA in 52 appearances for the Yanks in 2011.