Oct 1, 2011, 5:38 PM EDT
Yovani Gallardo ended the regular season as one of the hottest pitchers in baseball, allowing two runs or less in each of his last three starts while posting a ridiculous 36/3 K/BB ratio over 20 1/3 innings. He was equally brilliant this afternoon in Milwaukee, tossing eight innings of one-run ball in a 4-1 victory over the Diamondbacks in Game 1 of the NLDS.
Taking advantage of the shadows of the Miller Park roof, Gallardo allowed just four hits on the afternoon while striking out nine and walking just one. The only run scored on a solo home run by Ryan Roberts to lead off the top of the eighth inning. The 25-year-old right-hander finished strong, though, striking out the final three batters he faced. John Axford tossed a perfect top of the ninth for the save.
Ian Kennedy allowed four runs on eight hits over 6 2/3 innings in the loss. He also hit two batters. However, his line likely would have looked a lot better if it wasn’t for two curious decisions by Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson.
Gibson elected to pitch to catcher Jonathan Lucroy with two outs and a runner at third in the bottom of the sixth, despite the pitcher being on deck. Granted, Gallardo is actually a pretty decent hitter, but Lucroy delivered an RBI single to give the Brewers a 2-0 lead. Perhaps more egregious was pitching to Prince Fielder in the seventh with first base open following a two-out double by Ryan Braun. Fielder cashed in with a two-run blast over the right field fence, giving the Brewers some valuable insurance runs.
The Brewers will try to keep the pressure on tomorrow when they send Zack Greinke (16-6, 3.83 ERA) to the hill against Daniel Hudson (16-12, 3.49 ERA). Greinke will be pitching on short rest for the second straight start, but if Ron Roenicke’s crew can leave home with two victories, they should be in very good shape in this series.
- I criticized Willie Bloomquist as the leadoff hitter in the live blog, but he had two of the Diamondbacks’ four hits on the afternoon. What do I know, anyway?
- Gallardo got off to a bit of a shaky start in the top of the first, but he was bailed out when Bloomquist was cut down at home plate on a throw by Ryan Braun.
- Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder combined for five of the Brewers’ eight hits on the day.
- Gallardo’s nine strikeouts tied him with Don Sutton (1982) for the franchise record for strikeouts in a postseason game.
- HardballTalk’s Top 150 Free Agents for 2015 19
- Joe Maddon’s pursuit of the Cubs job called “a classless act” by some in the game 99
- Kevin Youkilis opts for retirement at age 35 30
- 10 nominees for Hall of Fame’s Veterans Committee announced 102
- Bochy’s championship resume ranks among game’s best 19
- Alex Gordon would have been a dead duck had he tried to score 81
- Video: Pablo Sandoval catches final out in foul territory, Giants win 2014 World Series 10
- Madison Bumgarner pitches the Giants to their third World Series win in five seasons 96
- A veteran says enough is enough when it comes to tributes for the soldiers (281)
- Jose Canseco shot his middle finger off (148)
- Shocker! Joe Maddon to opt out of his contract and leave the Rays (142)
- Oscar Taveras dies after car accident in the Dominican Republic (140)
- 10-0! The Royals romp, tie it up at three games a piece (109)