If you want folks to reassure you that Gallardo is doing well, ask anybody with the Mariners. Not trying to be snide. They're committed to him and that's how pro sports goes in the days of these kinda bucks. The TV crew praised every decent Gallardo pitch with gusto and Servais said that Gallardo threw the ball "crisply."
If you want somebody to tell you the truth, ask somebody who noticed 10 baserunners in 5 innings, and umpteen cripple pitches the Angels missed -- this being Gallardo's upside scenario. He brought his BB's down by making the Angels prove they could hit HR's. The weak Angels lineup couldn't rebuke Gallardo in this one. Well, only 1.8 times per 9 innings.
Dr. D suspects this will be a Grand Theme in April-May: Reduce the BB's from 4+ to 2+, under penalty of a steady rainfall of deep enemy fly balls -- with runners on. Hopefully enough of them will be caught on the warning track. Check him on this prediction, boys.
Will cheerfully admit we did not expect to see him touch 93-94 MPH (though the location was maybe AA level). Good on him. Will also be glad to admit that the curve ball was major league average. Have admitted many times before, and will admit again, that Yovani is tricksy. It's fun to watch him make a hitter top a 3-2 curve ball into a 5-3 groundout to end the inning.
Also will be glad to admit that 10 swingthrus were more than we expected to see in any Gallardo start this year. 4 K's offers the faithful a glimmer of hope.
But Gallardo threw I don't know HOW many challenge fastballs Right. Down. the. Pipe. with runners on. The performance was full of bad misses, bad counts, violent swings by the Angels, tricky 3-2 curve balls inside to escape, and a scuffle that left the M's in the game after five. You go dude.
Sorry to say, no stock upgrade at this site after the first game. But he did show a bit more than expected. Importantly, this Gallardo start cost the M's absolutely zero in the standings. Any starter woulda lost Friday.
During the first 3.5 games Dr. D was glad to tip his cap to the Astros' superb pitching. No can do against Jesse Chavez' blizzard of preDICTable outer-third fastballs. Painful to watch the M's act surprised against 8, literally 8, consecutive nibbles away.
In-game you could hardly believe your eyes. Chavez would rear back and fire, and the M's would swing underneath yet another fastball or cutter. It was quite strange to watch.
Reportedly a bad head cold made its way thru the M's clubhouse right after the WBC. Coulda left guys weak, strained, their timing way off. If so the Astros were only too happy to lock the M's into a funk.
Doesn't make the M's bad hitters. They are really good hitters. Tough week though.
JARROD YET AGAIN
A terrific runup in short right center, to double off Trout and pole-axe what would have been another Angels rally. Five games in, how many fun plays has this dude made?! Soon he'll be makin' em to win games, baby.
Felix against a tomato can. See you at the ballpark.