Cheap Seats

Cardinals must keep it up vs. Gallardo

Brewers game three starter Yovani Gallardo might be one of the best pitchers in baseball with a 17-10 record and a 3.52 ERA with an eye-popping 209 walks.

But the Cardinals have more than handled him over the course of his career -- and especially in 2011. So the Redbird hitters need to make sure they do their part to keep Chris Carpenter's start against Gallardo from becoming a pitchers' duel.

In 11 career starts against St. Louis, Gallardo is 1-7 with a 5.66 ERA. It's not that he gives up a lot of hits to the Cardinals -- just 56 in 62 innings. He just seems to give up a lot of long ones -- 13 homers -- in his appearances against the Cardinals.

He lost to the Cardinals three times in August and September. On Aug. 11 he gave up seven hits and five runs on two homers in five innings at Busch Stadium. On Sept. 1 he managed to last only 4 2/3 innings with eight earned runs allowed on nine hits -- four of them homers. Then on Sept. 6 Gallardo threw six innings against the Birds and allowed only four hits. But two of them were homers and he lost 4-2.

Much like St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia dominates at Busch Stadium but struggles on the road, Gallardo isn't nearly as good away from Miller Park. He's 7-8 with an ERA half a point higher -- 4.05.

The Redbirds dominated Sean Marcum because they were patient at the plate and made him throw pitches they could hit. And doing the same thing is key against Gallardo. His numbers suggest that he can get the Cardinals out if they swing at his pitches. But if the Birds force Gallardo to throw over the plate, they can pile up runs in a hurry by belting balls over the boards.