Gallardo’s start among best in Brewers’ playoff history

It might not sound that impressive considering the Brewers’ short playoff history, but the start Yovani Gallardo turned in for Game 1 of the National League Division Series against Arizona is one of the best postseason starts the Brewers have ever seen.

Gallardo struck out nine batters over eight innings of work, with the only blemish being a solo home run by Ryan Roberts to lead off his last inning of work. If anyone had any worries about the Brewers starting the LDS flat (like they did in 2008 against Philadelphia), Gallardo put those worries to rest.

Using Bill James’ gamescore (again, a quick-and-dirty measure that’s more fun to look at that anything else), Gallardo’s start ranks second in Brewers postseason history. The only higher gamescore comes from Mike Caldwell in the 1982 World Series:

Mike Caldwell, 1982 World Series Game 1 – 83
Yovani Gallardo, 2011 NLDS Game 1 – 78
Pete Vuckovich, 1981 ALDS Game 4 – 62
Mike Caldwell, 1981 ALDS Game 2 – 61
Randy Lerch, 1981 ALDS Game 3 – 61
Don Sutton, 1982 ALCS Game 3 – 58
Dave Bush, 2008 NLDS Game 3 – 57
Pete Vuckovich, 1982 ALCS Game 2 – 54
Moose Haas, 1982 ALCS Game 4 – 52
Pete Vuckovich, 1982 World Series Game 3 – 50
Yovani Gallardo, 2008 NLDS Game 1 – 48
Don Sutton, 1982 World Series Game 2 – 48
Pete Vuckovich, 1982 ALCS Game 5 – 44
Zack Greinke, 2011 NLDS Game 2 – 42
Mike Caldwell, 1982 World Series Game 5 – 40
Pete Vuckovich, 1981 ALDS Game 5 – 38
Moose Haas, 1982 World Series Game 4 – 37
Pete Vuckovich, 1982 World Series Game 7 – 37
CC Sabathia, 2008 NLDS Game 2 – 30
Jeff Suppan, 2008 NLDS Game 4 – 28
Moose Haas, 1981 ALDS Game 1 – 28
Don Sutton, 1982 World Series Game 6 – 27
Mike Caldwell, 1982 ALCS Game 1 – 24

Another couple solid postseason starts, and you could make an argument that Gallardo is one of the best postseason pitchers the Brewers have ever had. Again, that isn’t saying that much considering the team’s history, but it’s better than throwing some real clunkers.

I haven’t written much about the Brewers the past couple weeks, but my excuse is that it’s just hard for me to put into words what we’ve been seeing. The team as a whole is playing with a level of confidence that we haven’t seen since their run through August, and it’s probably fair to say that they’re playing with even more confidence now after losing that August momentum and gaining it back. I don’t know if the difference between this year and 2008 is starting the series at home, but right now you’d have a hard time finding a playoff team playing with more confidence.

They’ll be tested once they start playing games away from Miller Park, but right now it’s hard to see this series going the full five games.

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