Yovani Gallardo, the Trimble Tech High School graduate and a Fort Worth resident, was chosen by the Texas Rangers to start Game 1 of the American League Division Series.
The right-hander will take the mound Thursday against Toronto at Rogers Centre, where he tossed 8 1/3 scoreless innings June 27 in his best start of the season. Gallardo tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings Aug. 27 against the Blue Jays at Globe Life Park.
Left-hander Cole Hamels, who tossed a complete game Sunday as the Rangers clinched the AL West, will start Game 2 on normal rest.
“This is the team I grew up watching as a young kid,” said Gallardo (13-11, 3.42 ERA). “To have this opportunity to start Game 1, it’s a big accomplishment. I’m excited to get that opportunity and take advantage of it.”
Gallardo has pitched in the postseason twice previously with Milwaukee, in 2008 and 2011, and went 1-2 with a 2.08 ERA in five games/four starts. One of his losses was in the 2008 National League Division Series, allowing three unearned runs in four innings but losing to Philadelphia.
I go out there and pitch my game each and every time out. They know the way I pitch. I’ve faced those guys throughout my career a pretty good number of times.
Yovani Gallardo on his success vs. Toronto
Hamels started that day for the Phillies, allowing two hits in eight scoreless innings.
“Cole and I were just talking about that the other day,” Gallardo said. “I was coming off ACL surgery and I got the ball in Game 1 against my teammate now, Cole. It was fun.”
Manager Jeff Banister said that Gallardo was the choice because of his success against the Blue Jays this season, his experience in general and his knack for keeping the ball on the ground.
0 Runs allowed in 13 2/3 innings this season against Toronto by Yovani Gallardo
Gallardo allowed only 15 home runs in 184 1/3 innings and has a 1.44 groundout-to-flyout ratio.
“I like the body of work. I like the groundball. I like the veteran pitcher in that spot,” Banister said. “He’s been a guy for us all year that has grinded out innings for us and kept us in ballgames.”
Yovani Gallardo was born in Mexico but moved to Fort Worth at age 4. He attended Trimble Tech High School and signed a letter of intent to play at TCU before getting drafted in the second round of the 2004 draft.