Gallardo went 67 pitches last night, and if anyone saw a problem with his knee, I'd love to hear about it. I spoke with three people last night who I consider pitching "gurus" within the game, and every one of them asked me if this was normal, if ACL surgery has become so routine that this kind of recovery is now probable, and not merely plausible. The answer is simple as 'yes.' It's unusual in baseball, but even so there's the Milton Bradley situation to compare it to. Gallardo showed a normal motion, no real change in his mechanics, normal velocity in line with both his 2007 and 2008 averages on all his pitches, and certainly solid results for his first work in nearly a complete season. There's very little to say other than giving proper kudos to Gallardo and to the medical staff for what looks miraculous, but is actually the product of hard work. The interesting thing is that Gallardo now sets up to be the first game playoff pitcher, if necessary, and if they make it. How's that for a return?
Moreover, Gallardo should have a very fresh arm. He has not been taxed like Manny Parra and is well under the "safe" level for young pitchers. You never know how a player will react to an injury like this, especially when they feel that first "twinge" or bend funny the first time, but by all accounts the finest Brewer pitcher not named Carsten is ready to take the ball in game one of the playoffs, and most people don't even realize it.
I feel like Emperor Palpatine informing Luke that he was about to "witness the power of this fully armed and operational battlestation."