After the absolute shelling of Gallardo last night at the hands of the Rockies marked the third time in his last seven starts that he failed to pitch past the 4th. Gallardo came into this season not with lofty expectations, but just to do what he has been doing to NL bats since his call up in 2007. But, this year he has had a definite split personality when it comes to missing bats, and especially so when it comes to road games.
Gallardo raised his ERA to 4.08 after giving up 6 to the Rockies in 4 innings, that puts him at second to last in ERA among Brewers starters, surpassed only by hard luck Chris Narveson (4.75). His WHIP, 1.41, also slides into 4th place among starters with the Narvdog again bringing up the rear. So far this year Gallardo leads the team in strike outs at 106, but also leads the team in hits after giving up 127. He obviously still has the stuff, so why is it that sometimes he just flat out loses it?
Gallardo hasn't lost any velocity on any of his pitches over previous years aside from his change, which he seems to be throwing 2 mph slower this season. So, it really comes down to placement of pitches, and maybe to a degree pitch selection, that is troubling Yo. Opponents are making contact 67.5% of the time outside the strike zone, which is more than 7% over his average. Contact% is also up to 81.2% of the time, a 2% increase over average. So, it seems that his main problem this year is location rather than stuff.
Gallardo isn't a victim of luck either as his BABIP, while high (.313), is close to his average. Also his line drive rates are down, and he is posting a career low in ground balls at 48.8%. But, giving up over 3 walks per nine, and seeing his K/9 diminish to a very average 7.86, we may have to endure some tough times ahead. While Gallardo hasn't been terrible, he has had some really bad starts, and so far in July his ERA is an even 5.00. The only month he did well, or dominated I should say, was May where he posted a 2.25 ERA. He has also has major troubles on the road with an ERA of 5.02 away from the Keg.
Maybe this season we will have to endure a little rollercoaster ride at times with Gallardo, but if he can find his groove again, and work on pitch selection/location I think that Yo will be just fine. Watching him give up 11 hits last night was hard to watch, but just remember that 5 games out of his last 10 starts he gave up 5 hits or less and had a combined 1.33 ERA in those games. So, it's not a matter of Yo being lost, he just needs to find his way home.