As we discussed on Thursday, Rangers starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo is a tad bit frustrating to watch and doesn't get the credit he deserves.
He works slow, isn't efficient and lives on the corners, making for long games and bad outings if he's not getting the calls on the outside of the plate.
But the Rangers entrusted Gallardo to start Game 1 of the Rangers' ALDS against the World Series favorite Blue Jays, and he made Jeff Banister look like a genius as he held the Blue Jays' big right-handed bats at bay and worked five innings to turn it over to a dominant bullpen and earn a Game 1 win with ace Cole Hamels on the mound in Game 2 Friday.
When all was said and done, Gallardo worked five innings and allowed two runs on four hits with one walk and one strikeout on 79 pitches, meaning he could possibly come back for Game 4 on three days of rest if needed.
He was cruising through three innings — three perfect innings, actually — before running into some serious trouble in the fourth and fifth innings. When faced with adversity, Gallardo worked his way out with minimal damage — a run each in the fourth and fifth innings, which could have both been much worse.
So, if this was Gallardo's last start in a Rangers uniform, remember it fondly. It was vintage Gallardo, even if vintage Gallardo is wildly frustrating to watch.
All that matters is the final result, and Gallardo got it.