Blog Entry

Struggling Brewers need Gallardo to step up

Posted on: October 11, 2011 6:19 pm
Edited on: October 11, 2011 6:20 pm
ST. LOUIS -- Yanked out of their comfy and productive home park, the Brewers at least have ace Yovani Gallardo starting Game 3 Wednesday as this National League Championship Series shifts scenes.

Lifesaver for them, right?

Um, maybe not.

Milwaukee's Misery Index in Missouri is uncomfortably high as the Brewers face the pivotal Game 3: Gallardo, lifetime against the Cardinals, is 1-7 with a 5.66 ERA in 11 starts. Extract a smaller sample size to just 2011, and it's 1-3 with a 5.70 ERA in four starts.

Amplifying the situation is this: Gallardo right now appears to be Milwaukee's best shot. He's 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two postseason starts for the Brewers, while those starters not named "Gallardo" -- Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum and Randy Wolf -- are 1-3 with an 11.52 ERA in five starts.

Milwaukee's first-year manager, Ron Roenicke, has only see Gallardo's 2011 starts against the Cardinals and has no explanation for the struggles.

"There's not a good reason why," Roenicke says. "You know they have a good offense. Sometimes an offense matches up better against a certain type of pitcher. If it's a power pitcher and you have an offense that really handles the fastball well, that could be a reason. And same on the other end. If an offense matches up really well against guys that have the off-speed, slower stuff. ...

"I don't know what the case is with this, but I know we expect him to pitch a good game."

Elementary as it sounds, it starts at the beginning for both Gallardo and the rest of the rotation. While St. Louis leadoff man Rafael Furcal is just 2 for 10 against Milwaukee in the first two games, No. 2 hitter Jon Jay has severely wounded them with a .500 on-base percentage in the two games (.444 batting average).

When these two reach base consistently, that means Albert Pujols -- and Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman behind him -- is even more dangerous. Jay has scored four runs in the first two games of this NLCS, three of which were included among Pujols' five RBI in Game 2.

"We're not too concerned with what we've done in the past," Jay said of the Cards' success against Gallardo. "We just try to have good at-bats. He's a great pitcher. You have to make him throw strikes. If we can have good at-bats and work the count, we'll be all right."

As for Pujols' Game 2 fireworks, it's hard to imagine the Brewers pitching to him any more than they have to from here on out. But when they do, Roenicke said, the key is simple.

"We have to make good pitches," the manager said. "Even Albert, as good a hitter as he is, if you put the pitch exactly where you want to, he's still, percentage-wise, going to have a tough time to continue to hurt us like he has."

Easier said than done. Especially given the current numbers of a rotation of which Roenicke said, "Our starters, that's why we are where we are today. Our starters have pitched great all year, and our relievers have been great, too. ... The playoffs, we have not pitched as well with our starters. But if we are going to win this thing, our starters need to pitch well.

"That's the four of them. We can't get by with just one or two pitchers."

Among other things, expecting a low-scoring pitcher's duel between Gallardo and Chris Carpenter on Wednesday night, Roenicke hinted that he my start Carlos Gomez over Nyjer Morgan in center field in a nod to Gomez's defense.

Since: Sep 28, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 11:59 pm

Struggling Brewers need Gallardo to step up

I think history will repeat itself in this game there's no way he can come into this game not thinking about how he has 1 win in his 11 starts against the Cards, how he cant think about how they woke up our Giant. If hes not thinking about how much pressure is on him to win this game because they got absolutely killed in game 2. And how our bats do come alive at home and with Carp, and against him. I see this being a Cards win in game 3, and a Cards win in game 4 with Loshe on the mound with their struggling starters, then continue Garcia because both of his games he had the lead he just gave it in the 6th so I say Tony be alert when he starts losing it take him out. If you would've done that in both of his starts hed be 2-0 already. Lets go Red birds its time to get 11 in '11, we know our Squirrel will be there tomorrow, as well as our rally flags, and our bats you better be ready because we have the momentum and here we come.

Since: Sep 21, 2011
Posted on: October 11, 2011 10:16 pm

Struggling Brewers need Gallardo to step up

The Cards are on a roll now and I don't envy Gallardo task of trying to slow them down. And also knowing that his own club may be struggling to get runs against Carpenter, might cause a little more preasure for Gallardo. That being said, this should be one of the more interesting games to watch in this series, with a break going one way or the other maybe deciding the winner.

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