Gallardo fails to get elusive Opening Day win

MILWAUKEE — Yovani Gallardo was trying to break through in a couple of ways Monday afternoon.

First, the Brewers right-hander was trying to win for the first time in his fourth career Opening Day start. His opponent? The only National League team he’s never beaten: Colorado.

Neither of the two happened, but Gallardo is alright with that. Though he scuffled with command and left after five innings with his team trailing 3-1, he can put all that behind him because his team found a way to win.

“Who cares about the way I pitch as long as we win,” Gallardo said. “That’s the way I look at it. Obviously I wanted to do better and get deeper into the game but overall the main thing is getting the W.”

It was apparent from the start that Gallardo didn’t have his best stuff. His fastball velocity was sitting around 90 to 91 miles per hour, and the Rockies were squaring up even on the outs he was recording.

Gallardo gave up multiple hits in all five of his innings and allowed 10 total in his outing.

“I just couldn’t get in that rhythm from the beginning of the game,” Gallardo said. “For the first couple innings I gave up some weak base hits and as the game went on I fell out of my rhythm.

“Command was obviously (an issue). I was leaving balls up in the zone. Just like that home run to (Carlos) Gonzalez and the home run to (Troy) Tulowitzki was the same thing. I tried to go down and away and I ended up leaving it out over the zone up and away. That’s where he wants the ball.”

Considering Gallardo gave up 10 hits and two home runs in five innings, it could have been a lot worse than 3-1 when he left the game. He was able to work out of trouble in the first and second innings and got help from a Colorado baserunning gaffe in the fourth.

“When you don’t have your good stuff and you keep a team in a ballgame like he did, that shows that Yo knows how to get out of trouble,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said.

“I think he was a little off but I give a lot of credit to him because he still kept us in the game,” Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. “The only runs they had the whole game today was on homers.

“It’s early in the year, and that’s not the Yovani Gallardo that we all know. He’s a lot better than that but it still says a lot about how good he is when he only gives up three runs.”

Gallardo’s curveball gave him the most trouble Monday, and he was unable to mix hitters up when they knew he couldn’t locate the bender.

“Overall, honestly it was just falling behind,” Gallardo said. “You can’t fall behind good hitters and try to throw balls over the plate more than you want to. That’s normally when you get hurt.”

And while Gallardo will get a chance to bounce back Sunday against Arizona, getting off the schneid on Opening Day will have to wait until 2014.

“I’m not worried about it,” Gallardo said. “I want to get a win, trust me. We all want to win on Opening Day. I didn’t throw the ball well enough like I did my last start in spring. Everything was off.

“It would be a lot different if I was executing my pitches and getting ahead of hitters and I still wasn’t able to get an (Opening Day) win.”

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