Joey Gallo and the dream of an undefeated digital season for the cybernated Texas Rangers in the MLB The Show Players League ended last Thursday evening when future real life Big League terror Gavin Lux finally pinned Gallo with his first loss in a 5-4 thriller.
Before the loss, Gallo had beaten Ryne Stanek and his Miami Marlins in a sloppy 2-0 triumph at the new Ballpark. The computerized version of The Field continues to get infinitely more action than the real thing as Gallo moved to 9-0 on the year to set up a showdown against Bo Bichette who was 8-1 as they entered battle.
Gallo ambushed Bichette and his Toronto Blue Jays for six first inning runs and then held on for a 6-4 win to conquer a third of the league without yet suffering defeat. That is, until the next game when he faced Lux and allowed four first inning runs of his own.
The comeback bid almost made for a meme-able Ga11-0 but the young Dodgers top prospect apparently hates cool and fun things.
Gallo — perhaps with the weight of staying unscathed off his shoulders — bounced back in his final game by demolishing Cleveland’s Carlos Santana 7-3 to move to 11-1.
Gallo remains the league’s favorite and his name is uttered only in hushed whispers by his opponents for fear that he’ll send Willie Calhoun to the dish to dump another dinger onto their ledger.
At this point, the only thing that can stop Gallo is perhaps the Rangers themselves. Or, more specifically, what Sony thinks about the Rangers. The ones and zeros that make up the algorithmic Rangers that Gallo is anchored to are, for lack of a more elegant term, poo poo.
E-Gallo is a unnatural superhuman, yes. Calhoun’s digital self is more than we could ever dream of for the real life counterpart at the plate. The starters in the rotation get outs but the rules dictate a three-inning game so their stamina is intentionally lowered and they’re playing without a DH for some ungodly reason so even the three-headed monster of Corey Kluber, Mike Minor, and Lance Lynn are usually out after an inning or two max.
As for everything else, it’s pretty bad. The team can’t field — with Todd Frazier in particular being Gallo’s bain at the hot corner. The speed on the bases is non-existent making the finickiness of baserunning that is already difficult to pull off in video game baseball form a waking nightmare for Gallo.
And my god, the bullpen. Jose Leclerc is good but his stamina is gone after three pitches and you’d better believe they programmed in the command issues. But as far as trustworthy arms, that’s it.
Sony put Luis Garcia and the desiccated corpse of Cody Allen in the Rangers’ — and therefore Gallo’s — ‘pen for crying out loud. There’s no Rafael Montero. No Joely Rodriguez. There’s not even Jonathan Hernandez tossing unfettered gas at Gallo’s disposal.
Every time Gallo goes to warm up a reliever, you can see him pause and scour the list of names praying that Leclerc is available and that his miniscule stamina bar has replenished enough to get him an out or two.
The real Rangers probably weren’t going to win much in 2020 — and certainly not at the .916 clip like Gallo has them going — but Sony has saddled Joey Gallo with an albatross that only his penchant for a plethora of dingers can ward off.
Sony wasn’t kind to Gallo in their photo choice in the menus, either:
Beginning tonight at 8:00 pm CT, Gallo’s schedule looks like this:
vs. Matt Carpenter (STL) (5-7)
at Dwight Smith Jr. (BAL) (9-3)
vs. Niko Goodrum (DET) (5-6)
at David Dahl (COL) (4-7)
You can watch Joey’s feed on his Twitch channel.
Via MLB dot com:
Over the next few weeks, the league will be livestreamed on MLB social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch), MLB Network’s Twitch site, “MLB The Show” social media (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch), the clubs’ social media accounts and MLB.com. Each player will also stream it from their individual Twitch or YouTube accounts.
Go Fightin’ Gallos!