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Gallardo’s troubles with Cardinals continue

October 12, 2011
ST. LOUIS — No team has beaten Yovani Gallardo more than the Cardinals. For whatever reason, facing the Cards seems to bring out the worst in the Brewers right-hander.In 12 career starts against St. Louis, including Milwaukee’s 4-3 loss in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series on Wednesday, Gallardo is 1-8 with a 5.78 ERA. Against all other teams, Gallardo is 53-27 with a 3.32 ERA over 107 starts.

So is it just one of those things where the Cardinals have Gallardo’s number?

“It might be,” he said. “That’s how this game is, this game is kind of — it’s weird.”

Things went bad early for Gallardo on Wednesday, as he allowed four runs on four hits to put his club in a big hole early. Gallardo gave up a leadoff single to Rafael Furcal, threw a wild pitch to allow Furcal to move to second, and then gave up a double to Jon Jay which put St. Louis on the board.

Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols came up next and promptly hit a ground-rule double. Gallardo followed that with a pair of walks and a double play, but another double added the fourth run before Gallardo escaped with two runners on base.

This wasn’t the first time Gallardo has struggled through the first inning this season, though. In his 33 regular-season starts, Gallardo posted a 5.73 ERA in the opening frame, his highest mark for any inning.

Gallardo has no more than four career losses against any other team, and he has a losing record against just six of the 21 teams he’s had at least one start against in his career. In his 12 starts against the Cards, Gallardo has allowed 43 earned runs, seven more than against any other team.

“I can’t explain it,” catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. “If he pitches against these guys like he pitched against the Diamondbacks, they’ve got no chance. Bottom line. Period.

“He was just a little off. Sometimes he gets a little off.”

Those times just seem to always come when Gallardo is facing St. Louis.

Twelve starts against the Cardinals is tied for Gallardo’s most against any opponent, along with the Astros. He’s also had 11 starts apiece against the Reds and Pirates, and 10 against the Cubs. Those four teams have combined for 98 earned runs against Gallardo, an average of 24 1/2 runs.

Gallardo also has more losses in Busch Stadium than anywhere but his home ballpark. In six starts at St. Louis, Gallardo has a 1-4 record with a 4.54 ERA.

He has a higher ERA at six other ballparks — Dodger Stadium, Fenway Park, Coors Field, Nationals Park, Citi Field and Target Field — but Gallardo has gone a combined 2-6 in 14 starts on the road against those teams.

But it’s not like Gallardo has never shown the ability to beat the Cardinals. He does have that one win, which came earlier this season in St. Louis. Gallardo no-hit the Cards through seven innings, finishing with eight shutout innings of one-hit baseball.

“It seems like it’s going to be one way or the other, good or bad [against St. Louis],” Gallardo said. “As a starter, you can’t think about things like that. Whether you’re 6-0 against a team or 1-8.”

Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Categories: Uncategorized
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