Yovani Gallardo Hits 121 | Disciples of Uecker

Disciples of Uecker

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Yovani Gallardo is no stranger to high pitch counts. Those familiar with his work are used to seeing Gallardo, and his not so crisp control, nearing the 100-pitch mark around the fifth or sixth inning. In fact, according to Baseball Reference, over Gallardo’s eight-year career, he averages 103 pitches and just over 6 IP per games started. So Sunday’s game was special for Gallardo. Not because he had, yet another, 100-plus pitch performance. No, it was special because of how high his pitch count reached.

Sunday, against the Pirates, Gallardo threw 121 pitches, 80 for strikes, through seven scoreless innings. He racked up 8 Ks while only allowing 4 H and 1 BB. Gallardo’s outing was highlighted by a 23-pitch seventh inning where he worked around a Russell Martin single and two defensive miscues that loaded the bases with one out. Now, on most days, a call to the bullpen would have been in order but Ron Roenicke decided to leave Gallardo’s fate in his own hands.

With his pitch count already at 110, four off of his season high, Gallardo was left in the game to face pinch-hitter Jose Tabata, who eventually struck out on the eighth pitch of his at-bat. This season’s persistent pain-in-the-side Josh Harrison followed and popped out to Mark Reynolds at first base to end the inning. Thus leaving unsullied the bounce back start Gallardo needed after giving up 6 ER over 5 IP during Tuesday’s loss to the Twins.

Gallardo’s 121 pitches are tied for the fourth most that he’s ever thrown in a MLB start. It’s also tied for the seventh most pitches thrown by any starter so far this season, and only seven pitches away from the top spot. Here’s a list of most pitches thrown by a starter this year –

Rank P Pitcher IP H ER K BB VS Date Dec
1 128 Josh Beckett 9.0 O O 6 3 PHI May 25 W
1 128 Julio Teheran 9.0 6 O 8 2 MIL May 20 W
1 128 Dallas Keuchel 8.2 5 2 8 1 LAA May 19 W
1 128 Cliff Lee 9.0 11 1 13 1 ATL April 16 L
2 127 C.J. Wilson 9.0 5 O 7 2 TB May 17 W
3 126 Lance Lynn 9.0 5 O 2 3 NYY May 27 W
3 126 Yu Darvish 8.2 2 O 12 2 BOS May 9 W
3 126 Jeff Samardzija 9.0 3 O 7 2 CWS May 5 ND
4 125 C.J. Wilson 8.0 7 3 5 3 NYY May 6 ND
5 123 John Danks 5.2 7 4 4 4 TB April 26 L
6 122 Jon Lester 7.0 5 4 7 O TOR April 27 L
6 122 Chris Tilman 5.0 7 3 5 4 BOS April 18 W
7* 121 Yovani Gallardo 7.0 4 O 8 1 PIT June 8 W

*Joining Gallardo at the 121-pitch mark is Homer Bailey (6/8), Bartolo Colon (5/28), R.A. Dickey (5/8), Aaron Harang (4/18), and Jose Quintana (4/13).

As expected, most pitchers landing on this list are having good days. Chris Tilman and John Danks being the only two to join these ranks and not make the sixth inning. While Gallardo didn’t battle his way through 121 pitches, he also didn’t cruise as deep into the game as most pitchers on this list. So, how does his Sunday performance stack up against other games in which Gallardo went deep?

Even for Gallardo, reaching 121 or more pitches is a rare feat. He’s only thrown that many pitches seven times in 192 big league starts. The last occurrence coming during the 2011 season. Here’s how those seven starts stack up –

P IP H ER K BB VS Date Dec
126 8.0 2 O 6 4 STL 5/25/09 ND
123 7.0 4 1 6 1 ARI 7/6/11 W
122 9.0 5 O 12 O MIN 6/24/10 W
121 7.0 4 O 8 1 @PIT 6/8/14 W
121 7.0 6 2 5 1 @SF 7/24/11 L
121 9.0 8 O 7 1 NYM 5/28/10 W
121 7.0 6 1 11 2 @SD 5/1/10 W

When compared to other high pitch count games for Gallardo, Sunday’s performance is par for the course. He’s lasted only seven innings in four out of his seven high pitch count games. Even when Gallardo rolls deep, efficiency isn’t exactly his forte.

This season Gallardo is averaging 99 pitches per game. Sunday’s performance should give that total a little bump. Yet, it won’t be enough to catch the league leaders Justin Verlander and C.J. Wilson, who are both averaging 112 pitches per game. Amazingly, C.J. Wilson has only one start where he hasn’t reached the 100-pitch mark, and Justin Verlander has crossed the 100-pitch plateau in every start this season.

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Comments

Tell us what do you think.

  1. chuck says: June 9, 2014

    Just some thoughts in reading this:

    How long can this relatively young man’s career go given that he needs a extremely high pitch count to get through 6 innings. He might end up with quality starts along the way, but at what price regarding his arm and few wins to show for it.

    The Brewers need to come the realization, perhaps they have already, that he can no longer be considered the rising superstar that briefly showed at a time when Sabetha was serving up K’s for the Brewers.

    Finally, I have no problem with Gallardo loosing a few ticks off of his fast ball, but he needs to learn how to be a pitcher and not simply a thrower. I would love to see him succeed, but it seems to me he should have at least shown signs; I do not count yesterday’s game as impressive by any stretch.
    He hung in there, but that will not be enough. He is a #4 starter as I currently see him at best.

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