Starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo looked very good early in the season for the Milwaukee Brewers, beginning 2014 with consecutive scoreless appearances that translated into two victories. However, Gallardo has not won since, and has experienced a somewhat difficult stretch over his last few starts, culminating in a Tuesday night outing against the Atlanta Braves.
The right-hander struggled through his shortest appearance of the season at Turner Field, exiting the game after only 3.1 innings of work in an eventual Brewers shutout loss. Gallardo did suffer an injury to his left ankle that hastened his departure, but he was probably not going to make it much longer anyway. He allowed four hits and four earned runs, including a solo homer to Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons. Gallardo was extremely hittable all night and struggled badly with his control, issuing three walks while striking out two.
Obviously, the ankle injury is cause for some concern at the moment, although the severity has yet to be determined. It appears that Gallardo could have likely continued, but regardless of the injury, the right-hander needs to figure out how to get back his early form, as his recent issues may be developing into a pattern.
Gallardo has seen his ERA rise in every appearance but one, and it now sits at a season-high 3.51 on the year. Of course, his ERA had nowhere to go but up after the two consecutive scoreless appearances to begin the season, but things are clearly trending downward as of late. Gallardo has been piling up excessively high pitch counts, one reason why he has only gone seven innings once in 10 starts this season.
He is usually able to make it through six, but simply cannot get deep into games, something that has been an issue throughout his career.
The 28-year old Gallardo has never been spectacular, but has provided the Brewers with quality and consistency over the course of his career. After last season’s disappointing numbers, many observers were curious to see if Gallardo would revert back to the form of his earlier years, or continue to descend into mediocrity. Unfortunately for the Brewers, I fear it may be the latter.