It took awhile, but for the first time in months, Yovani Gallardo looked human on Sunday against the Texas Rangers. After giving up four earned runs in six innings, Yo received a loss for the first time since April 10. Remember the backlash when Yo started the year 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA? He responded by going 6-0 in his next 11 starts with an ERA of 1.67.
That’s not to say the hot streak was without a few problems. While it was nearly impossible to score off of him, he still threw an ungodly amount of pitches to get through six innings most nights — in that 11-game stretch, he went at least seven innings only four times, but threw over 110 pitches five times, including the past three appearances before Sunday. Add in Sunday’s start, and Yo has thrown 121, 114, 110, and 118 pitches in his past four starts.
With 463 pitches thrown in his past four starts, is it any wonder he didn’t look all that sharp today?
It’s not that I don’t appreciate Yo’s work, though. This year, aside from Corey Hart‘s hot streak Yovani Day has been the only thing to look forward to every week when it comes to Brewers baseball. If Yo keeps this up, he could be on pace for the best Brewers pitching season since Ben Sheets‘ incredible 2004 (and like Yo, he was the only thing worth watching on an otherwise unwatchable team).
Sheets finished ’04 with an ERA of 2.70, racking up 264 strikeouts in 237 innings, but went 12-14 with the Brewers’ horrible run support. The most impressive thing about that season, though? He only walked 32 batters that year. That’s 1.2 walks per nine innings. That’s a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 8.25. That’s insane.
Yo walks way too many batters to sniff those numbers (he already has 43 this year), and the high pitch counts will also likely prevent him from throwing that many innings. Still, he’s on track to put up some pretty special numbers if he can keep up this pace, even with the hiccup on Sunday.