Visit to McCarthy's Hometown...........Kenny Mayne

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Yovani Gallardo Shines in his Major League Debut not only with his arm but his bat too!!!!

As Yovani Gallardo walked to the home dugout in the seventh inning Monday night to a thunderous ovation from the sellout crowd of 41,631 at Miller Park, manager Ned Yost stood on the mound, surrounded by his impressive young infield of Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, J.J. Hardy and Ryan Braun.Fielder, already the leader of the team at 23, offered an astute assessment of Gallardo's big-league debut.
"Prince said, 'Man, he's cool,'" Yost said. "'He's nice and calm and cool.'
"I said, 'Yep, he's just like you guys. He's a stud.' "
On what was surely the first of many stellar nights to come for the 21-year-old right-hander, Gallardo indeed was impressive in the Brewers' 5-4 victory over San Francisco. He didn't rattle when a shaky first inning lasted a bit longer than everyone hoped. He ripped a run-scoring double in his first big-league at-bat. He fielded his position with aplomb.
What more could you ask?

"Gallardo pitched a great game in his major-league debut," said closer Francisco Cordero, who made things more than a bit interesting with another high-wire act in the ninth.

Gallardo was making the most anticipated debut by a Brewers pitching prospect since Olympic hero Ben Sheets reported for duty in 2001. Finding his stride after the 31-pitch first inning, Gallardo navigated through 6 1/3 innings, allowing four hits, three walks and three runs, with four strikeouts.

As a tribute to Gallardo's Mexican heritage, equipment manager Tony Migliaccio issued him uniform No. 49, worn with distinction by Teddy Higuera in the late 1980s. Gallardo never met Higuera but had spoken with him on the telephone, and appreciated the gesture.

"I found out a couple of days afterward (that it was Higuera's number)," Gallardo said.
As might be expected from a young pitcher making his first start, Gallardo had some anxious moments in the first inning. Dave Roberts led off with a single to center and was on second base with two down when Barry Bonds drew a six-pitch walk, setting the stage for Bengie Molina's RBI hit to left on a 0-2 curveball.

Rather than cave in, Gallardo retired Pedro Feliz on a pop-up to short. That out began a stretch in which he set down 15 of 16 hitters.

"In the first inning I was a little nervous but I was able to settle down," said Gallardo, who threw 102 pitches.

It didn't take long for Gallardo's teammates to give him the lead. After Ryan Braun drew a two-out walk in the bottom of the first off lefty Noah Lowry, Prince Fielder launched an opposite-field homer to left, his 26th of the season.

Gallardo provided his own support in the second after Rickie Weeks, getting his first at-bat since returning from the disabled list, hammered a two-out double to left-center. Gallardo, an adept hitter who batted .250 at Class AAA Nashville with three doubles and a home run in 24 at-bats, laced a double into the left-field corner for his first hit and RBI.

"I was very excited about that," Gallardo said. "I love hitting. I look at that as a bonus for a pitcher."

Read more here from Tom Haudricourt's article in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

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