Gallardo looks ready; Braddock not so much

Yovani Gallardo put together another quality Spring Training start on Wednesday, holding the Mariners to one run on three hits in 4 2/3 innings before reaching his limit at 74 pitches. In four games, he’s held opponents to four runs in 13 1/3 innings. 

“My command was a little bit off today, but I made some pitches whenever I needed to,” he said. “They battled, fouled off a bunch of pitches and my pitch count got up there.
    
“I feel good. The spring is going very well, and the last couple of starts you try to put everything into it.”
He was in the middle of an exiting moment in the bottom of the third inning, when Mariners outfielder Milton Bradley was called out on strikes by plate umpire Mark Buchanan. Bradley had some words on his way back to the dugout and was ejected. 
Did he have a beef with Buchanan?
    
“From my side, it was a pretty good pitch,” Gallardo said. “Especially on 3-2, I had to make a good pitch and I was able to do that down and away. It was close. I think it was a strike.”
Gallardo is scheduled for three more starts before his Opening Day assignment on March 31.
He appears ready for the season, but it’s tough say the same for left-handed reliever Zach Braddock, who was such an important part of the Brewers’ bullpen in 2010. He worked the seventh inning, and surrendered a single to Franklin Gutierrez, hit Jack Wilson with a pitch and then served-up a three-run home run to Brendan Ryan that tied the game at 4. 
Two days earlier, Braddock walked a batter, hit another and surrendered a two-run homer to left-handed-hitting Giants first baseman Aubrey Huff. His velocity has been down this spring, and you wonder if Braddock, who has all of his Minor League options remaining, isn’t opening a door for somebody like lefty specialist Mitch Stetter. 
Here’s what manager Ron Roenicke had to say on that topic:
“If you know that, ‘Hey this is what we’ve told you to do,’ then fine, but I don’t think Rick [Kranitz, the pitching coach] has necessarily said that,” Roenicke said. “He’s working on some things, no doubt, but he still needs to pitch and get people out.”
Roenicke thought Braddock was better Wednesday after working in some sliders, a pitch former manager Ken Macha also encouraged Braddock to work on. Braddock’s next outing could span multiple innings so the club can get a better look, and it could come in a Minor League game.
On a brighter note, Roenicke was very pleased with Takashi Saito’s inning, and said the right-hander left after the game to pick up his wife and daughters from the airport. It must be a relief for Saito to have his immediate family safe and together considering the issues facing Japan.
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