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  1. Great article, but you might have jinxed Gallardo with that last comment…

    Comment by Mike — May 5, 2011 @ 9:40 am

  2. Thanks for this article Chris.

    I have Gallardo on my fantasy team so I am now expecting a no-no in his next start!

    Comment by Slats — May 5, 2011 @ 9:48 am

  3. My first reaction with pitchers who suddenly perform horribly and give up tons of runs is that they have an injury, but Gallardo’s velocity on his pitches seems to still be there so that might be unlikely. If he’s not injured, Gallardo is too good of a pitcher to continue like this and will bounce back eventually.

    Comment by jakesprecher — May 5, 2011 @ 10:15 am

  4. Gallardos k rate has normalized somewhat since his first 3 starts. the defense is just really really bad.

    Comment by justin — May 5, 2011 @ 10:27 am

  5. I like this series, but here’s two ideas to perhaps improve on it:

    1) Provide a Dashboard at the top of each article that focuses on maybe 5-10 ‘Focus Areas’. Focus Areas might be BABIP, K/9, Velocity, GB/FB rate, etc. Beside the Focus Area, have 3 columns; one column for a ‘Trend’; green arrow or green light for things that haven’t changed about said player’s game, or have improved. Yellow for areas of concern. Red for the glaring areas that have severely affected his success. 2nd Column, have their current years’ number for that Focus Area. 3rd column, have last year’s figure, or 2 or 3 year avg.
    And maybe have an ‘Outlook’ to summarize if that player is projected to be fine moving forward, not sure, or if the Focus Areas show a dangerous trend that perhaps will affect the player for the year.

    This provides the user a quick view of what is affecting the player in question, which can perhaps nicely summarize the articles points; sometimes I find myself just scrolling to the last paragraph to see what the writer’s conclusion is.

    2) Was the ‘What’s wrong with XXXX?’ series used last year at this time? How about providing a retrospective on how those players that were put under the microscope did for the rest of that year? Might provide more details on what to expect from the players that have been/will be analyzed this year.

    Just throwing those ideas out there…hope they made sense. Keep it up FanGraphs!

    Comment by Ryan — May 5, 2011 @ 10:58 am

  6. Apostrophe fail

    A heightened ground ball rate would typically be a reason for optimism, until you remember the Brewer’s atrocious infield defense.

    Comment by Tom — May 5, 2011 @ 11:03 am

  7. Any possibility of tipping pitches? Could be why his off-speed stuff is less effective.

    Comment by Gavin — May 5, 2011 @ 11:53 am

  8. Seen and heard three different “analysts” saying his velocity is down. It is not. Kudos for Chris for not joining in.

    Here’s what I think goes on behind the scenes at Baseball Tonight:
    Director: Ok, when we come out of commercial, Karl’s gonna go over the Brewers’ highlights, and talk about Gallardo’s struggles, then he’s going to throw it to you Eduardo.
    E Perez: I haven’t seen him pitch.
    Director: So what? Just say something, and sound authoritative. You’re an ex-player, man!
    E Perez: Ok, I’ll say his velocity is down.
    Director: Perfect! That’s gold, baby!

    Comment by Mike W — May 5, 2011 @ 12:07 pm

  9. The problem might be his head… Gallardo has always been prone to lapses in focus. Usually around August, but he’s been known to throw a few clunkers in a row that takes a sparkling ERA north…. Interestingly, he got pounded by lefties last year to the same extent he’s getting pounded this year. Only problem is now righties are pounding him too. Might want to figure out if it’s mechanics, mental or injury before you make your trade offer. For my part I’ve always felt he was more of a #2 or #3 starter, not an ace (though if Jered Weaver could figure it out, Gallardo certainly can)

    Comment by John Galt — May 5, 2011 @ 12:46 pm

  10. Copied and pasted from grammarbook.com:

    NOTE: Although names ending in s or an s sound are not required to have the second s added in possessive form, it is preferred.
    Mr. Jones’s golf clubs
    Texas’s weather
    Ms. Straus’s daughter
    Jose Sanchez’s artwork
    Dr. Hastings’s appointment (name is Hastings)

    So, basically, the form in the article is correct (if not preferred). Your suggested correction, however, is not. They are not called the “Milwaukee Brewer”.

    And yea! for grammar posts in a baseball site.

    Comment by GIANTsalamandar — May 5, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

  11. I’ve dug into the advanced data and I have to agree, there is no clear sign or indicator of what is driving his poor start.

    Yes, his K/rate is down, but the driver of this is very unclear. We don’t yet have the metrics that can explain this.

    My observations from watching most of his starts this year. It was known Yo’s only real weakness was his BB rate. It is assumed that if YO can cut his walks, he will enter true ACE-Dom… To me, it appears YO is somewhat consciously trying to throw more strikes. I know his BB rate is unchanged, but to me, he is trying to hit the zone more often and it is resulting in him throwning way more hittable pitches right down the middle than ever…..thus his contact rate has soared. His FB, his ….by the way, he throws a CURVE more than a slider….are all missing within the zone and he is getting pounded.

    If he just accepted he has average command and stopped worrying about hitting the zone, I bet he will end up throwing fewer bad strikes and more good strikes on the corners, etc….

    I also noticed his true curve, is less sharp than last year….he used to be able to FINISH hitter with 2 strikes with a nasty overhand curve that he would bury in the dirt or at worst low in the zone.

    I’m hoping his command is just off and he can get this fixed within a few more starts.

    Comment by LionoftheSenate — May 5, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

  12. Strangely, over his last 5 starts, he has an 8.2 K/9 (slightly worse than career numbers), a 4.1 BB/9 (slightly worse than career numbers), and an 8.89 ERA. While he’s increased his GB% by 5% (potentially bad news given the defense), he’s decreased his LD% by 2.5% (which should cancel out any additional hits allowed from ground balls). The stats are showing me that, while he’s pitched worse in ’11 than ’10, the terrible runs allowed numbers are mostly due to bad luck.

    Comment by Bill — May 5, 2011 @ 3:56 pm

  13. No one should underestimate how bad the Brewers are on defense. Outside of Carlos Gomez, I am not sure they have a plus defender anywhere on the diamond.

    Comment by Phantom Stranger — May 5, 2011 @ 11:20 pm

  14. It seems that the most basic reason Gallardo has been stirking no one out, Chris, is because of his inability to work back from being down in the count. I looked at his splits and he has been terrible after throwing a first-pitch ball: His .5 K:BB and 3.86 K/9 in those situations have been crushing him this year. Compare those numbers a similar type of pitcher, like Clayton Kershaw, and the difference is stark: Kershaw has a 7.31 K/9 and 1.18 K:BB. Seems like Gallardo could use some work with his pitching coach on how to make some better pitches when working from behind in the count.

    Comment by Tim — May 6, 2011 @ 12:14 am

  15. I consider myself a Milwaukee Brewer fan.

    Comment by Dealer A — May 6, 2011 @ 12:24 am

  16. Chris – interesting article. I watch him regularly and seem to think he has real problems locating his off-spead pitches. It would be interesting to see the percentage of off-speed pitches thrown for balls versus his historical averages. It just seems like when he misses with an off-speed pitch, it’s off the plate by a mile. Obviously you’d have to think opposing hitting coaches are recognizing lack of command on sliders and telling hitters to sit dead-red.

    Comment by Matt F — May 6, 2011 @ 8:38 am

  17. You’re saying he’s not a true-talent 8.89 ERA pitcher?

    Wow, they should give you a gig writing for this site with dazzling insights like that.

    Comment by Felonius_Monk — May 6, 2011 @ 9:51 am

  18. You are overrating the Brewrers Defense……yes they only have 1 “plus” defender…..but they have ZERO average defenders.

    None.

    Comment by LionoftheSenate — May 6, 2011 @ 10:06 am

  19. This is a good insight. Agree.

    Comment by LionoftheSenate — May 6, 2011 @ 10:07 am

  20. The article points out his lack of strikeouts as a possible reason for his struggles. I’m pointing out that during his bad outings, his K/9 is not much behind his career numbers. But thanks for the compliment.

    Comment by Bill — May 6, 2011 @ 11:36 am

  21. Good point.

    I looked at Gallardo’s number over his career, and it looks like this is a one year aberration. In the past, he’s been able to strike out hitters even when he gets behind them.

    I wonder if he’s altered his pitch selection this season? Not sure what can explain his dip this year.

    Comment by Chris Cwik — May 6, 2011 @ 12:12 pm

  22. THIS

    Comment by The Baltimoron — May 6, 2011 @ 4:32 pm

  23. Well he’s at 104 pitches after 7 innings with a no-hitter right now. I wonder how many pitches they’ll let him throw.

    Comment by Toad Man — May 7, 2011 @ 6:08 pm

  24. Since these articles seem to be willing their subjects to extraordinary performances, would you guys mind writing one about the A’s offense :)

    Comment by suicide squeeze — May 7, 2011 @ 6:13 pm

  25. Close!!

    Comment by Kemp — May 7, 2011 @ 7:15 pm

  26. There are many negative assertions above about the Brewers defense. Maybe I’m misreading them, but it appears to me that the defensive numbers aren’t that bad. (http://www.fangraphs.com/teams.aspx?pos=all&stats=fld&lg=all&type=1&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011) Comments?

    Comment by morningstar88 — May 7, 2011 @ 11:21 pm

  27. 8 innings, 1 hit. Nostradamus?

    Comment by Dustin — May 9, 2011 @ 12:29 am

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