When Yovani Gallardo made his Rangers debut on Opening Night in Oakland a couple of weeks ago, it didn't go very well.
But ever since then, Gallardo has proven to be the guy the Rangers hoped they were getting when they traded for one year of the veteran right-hander to bolster a pitching staff that has since lost Yu Darvish for the year and Derek Holland for at least two months.
Gallardo is most likely now the de facto ace, and even if he isn't really capable of carrying a staff as an ace any more (if ever), he did show on Friday night that he has the guts and fortitude to stick it out in a tight game against a division rival.
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Gallardo was able to get the Rangers' only win of the weekend series in Seattle, and he did it in a beautiful way — throwing six-plus shutout innings while allowing six hits and then turning it over to the bullpen for a pretty quiet three innings en route to a 3-1 win.
Over his three starts this year since being acquired from Milwaukee, Gallardo has gotten progressively better and has already been better than any of the other National League converts the Rangers have brought in in recent years, with guys like Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza top of mind.
The move to acquire Gallardo for Luis Sardinas and Corey Knebel was a stroke of genius by Jon Daniels, and one that will be overlooked because he would've been an absolute stud as the Rangers' No. 3 pitcher, but as the anchor of the staff it might not look so great. But Friday's start was a step in the right direction for the Fort Worth native.