After agreeing to a five-year deal with the club, Gallardo takes the mound Saturday afternoon at Miller Park, where the Brewers look to even the series with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Gallardo went a career-best 13-12 with a 3.73 ERA in 2009. His 204 strikeouts were fifth in the NL.
On Thursday, he was rewarded with a $30.1 million deal that could be worth $42.5 million over six years.
“Having what we consider an ace of a staff, a No. 1 guy, tied up, it’s going to make the offseason (easier),” said Brewers general manager Doug Melvin. “In the offseason, you’re always trying to fill holes. With good health, this is one hole we don’t have to worry about for a few years.”
Gallardo, who missed the majority of the 2008 season with a torn ACL in his right knee, took the loss in the Brewers’ season opener, surrendering seven hits and four runs over seven innings in Monday’s 5-3 loss to Colorado.
Despite Gallardo’s less-than-stellar 109-pitch outing, the Brewers (2-2) still feel he gives them a good chance of winning each time he takes the ball.
“I think the rest of his teammates feel like when he’s out there pitching, this is going to be a ‘W,”’ said manager Ken Macha. “I like what I’ve seen so far.”
Macha liked what he saw for most of Friday’s series opener, but all-time saves leader Trevor Hoffman(notes) was tagged for a two-run homer by Nick Stavinoha(notes) with the Brewers one strike from victory.
“The bottom line is, you’ve got to execute with two strikes in that situation,” said Hoffman, who was denied his 594th career save in the 5-4 defeat. “I didn’t do that.”
Gallardo will try to help Milwaukee bounce back with his first career victory against St. Louis (3-1). He is 0-2 with a 5.70 ERA lifetime in this NL Central matchup.
While Gallardo is apparently locked into the Brewers’ plans for the foreseeable future, 23-year-old southpaw Jamie Garcia is just trying to make his mark in the Cardinals’ rotation. Garcia went 1-1 with a 5.63 ERA in 10 starts in 2008, but he missed all of last season following Tommy John surgery.
“He’s made a heck of an impression,” manager Tony La Russa told the Cardinals’ official Web site.
Garcia will make his second career start, and first since July 20, 2008, against San Diego. He had his start pushed up from Sunday night’s nationally telecast game. Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter(notes) will get an extra day of rest and pitch in the series finale.
“I don’t think Sunday night is a great first start for Garcia,” La Russa told MLB.com. “It’s dumping something extra on him that he doesn’t need.”
St. Louis has won five in a row and eight of nine at Miller Park.