When the Brewers announced Yovani Gallardo as their game-one starter, I felt a panic. This wouldn’t be easy, I thought. The guy can throw darts, and if he’s on, he’ll be almost impossible to beat.
The Phillies had to look at game one like a battle of attrition. Play it slow and patient and wait for your breaks. They did exactly that. They took a lot of pitches, wearing out the young, still rehabilitating righty. He was effective early, but Carlos Ruiz had the big leadoff hit to get the party going.
Cole Hamels dropped a very nice bunt that was dropped by the receiving Rickie Weeks. With two out, Chase Utley delivered with what should’ve been the inning’s final out — instead, Mike Cameron never quite got a hold of the ball, and it dropped immediately.
“It was two strikes, I was just trying to put the ball in play and we caught a break right there. Sometimes you need those breaks to win the game.”
They extended the inning with an intentional walk to Ryan Howard, a walk to Pat Burrell, and a final run-scoring walk to Shane Victorino. Clearly the Brewers’ miscues got in Gallardo’s head, and he responded by pitching wildly. Against a young, unseasoned pitcher like Gallardo, the goal is to make him think too much. Sure, Gallardo didn’t let up hits, but sometimes it takes some luck and head games to get a few runs. The plan worked.