Gallardo: Change-up ‘starting to feel comfortable’

Yovani Gallardo surrendered seven hits in 4 2/3 scoreless innings against the D-backs on Wednesday, though most of the hits were grounders through the infield. Gallardo called his outing a step forward from five days earlier against the Royals, when he surrendered four runs and five hits in three innings and struggled with tempo.

On Wednesday, he focused on his change-up, a pitch Gallardo has struggled to master in his career. He threw more than 10 of them, all against Arizona’s left-handed hitters.

Just one percent of Gallardo’s regular-season pitches in 2011 were change-ups, according to FanGraphs.com. That figure should rise in 2012.

“That’s the goal,” Gallardo said. “That’s what I’m shooting for. I was able to throw it today quite a bit. … It’s a matter of having confidence in it. I’m always still working on it. It’s a pitch that I’ve had trouble throwing, but it’s starting to feel comfortable, so that’s a good sign. I’m starting to command it a lot better, which is also a plus.”

Brewers managers back to Ned Yost have tried to get Gallardo to commit to the change-up. It’s a ‘feel’ pitch, and so far Gallardo has never been comfortable with it. If that changes, he’d be a beast.

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