Twenty-two-year-old right-hander Yovani Gallardo spent most of the season recovering from an ACL tear. Today, he’s healthy, he’s fresh, he’s nasty, and he toes the slab for Milwaukee tomorrow afternoon.
Just when it looked like the Phillies would have a clear edge with Cole Hamels pitching Game 1, interim Brewers manager Dale Sveum boldly counters with a pitcher who struck out seven batters in four innings last Thursday, his first start since May 1. It’s a potential Ubaldo Jiminez situation for the Phils. Fans recall how the young Colorado right-hander kept the Phils off-balance in Game 3 of the 2007 NLDS. Like Jiminez, Gallardo possesses a live arm, electric cheese and an explosive breaking pitch. He’s also just a little wild, which tends to work against the Phils.
If Gallardo pitches like he’s capable, the Phils will struggle. Pat Burrell can be beat with the inside fastball these days, and Jayson Werth, who can look overmatched against right-handers, has struggled lately. With C.C. Sabathia looming for Game 2, this series is no cake walk, even without Ben Sheets.