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MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Yovani has no answer for the Redbirds

Brewers righty has gone 1-11 vs. St. Louis and 82-42 vs. rest of MLB

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MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Yovani Gallardo has been one of the game's most consistent starting pitchers during the past five years.

From 2009-13, Gallardo averaged 32 starts and 14 wins, was a National League All-Star selection in '10 and finished seventh in the NL Cy Young Award voting in '11. He's led the Brewers in victories the past four seasons, and strikeouts the last five.

Gallardo was the Brewers' Opening Day starter for the fifth consecutive time this season.

Gallardo cannot, however, beat the St. Louis Cardinals, which might be one of the biggest puzzles of all. He has an 83-53 all-time record in the big leagues. But Gallardo is 1-11 against the Cards.

Strange?

Well, against all teams except St. Louis, Gallardo is 82-42 -- a .661 winning percentage that is better than the career winning percentage of any current starting pitcher in baseball. Tim Hudson is the leader among active pitchers at .651, followed by Jered Weaver (.650), David Price (.644), Justin Verlander (.642), with CC Sabathia and Adam Wainwright, both checking in at 6.38.

"It is hard to explain," said Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy. "It's why this game is so amazing. I wish I could explain it. I've been behind the plate for most of his starts -- against the Cardinals and everybody else. If we could explain it, it wouldn't happen."

The one time Gallardo beat the Cards, he dominated. He allowed one hit in eight innings of a 4-0 victory at Busch Stadium on May 7, 2011. That, however, was the exception.

Gallardo came into this season with a 6.46 ERA against the Cardinals, which was the highest of any active pitcher with at least 80 innings pitched against one team. By allowing three runs in six innings of a no-decision in a game the Brewers won in extra innings on Monday, Gallardo lowered his career ERA against St. Louis to 6.34. That matches Ervin Santana's ERA against the Yankees, and ranks second to the 6.39 ERA Joe Saunders has compiled in his career against the Texas Rangers, according to Stats, LLC.

Gallardo's 1-11 record and .083 winning percentage is the lowest of any active pitcher with a minimum of 10 decisions against a team. Mark Buehrle is second on the list, posting 1-10 record (for a 0.91 winning percentage) against the Yankees.

Gallardo is one of only 13 pitchers all-time with at least 10 career decisions against a team and a winning percentage of .083 or worst. Three of the 11 were winless against their biggest challenge: Sam Gibson was 0-11 against the White Sox from 1926-30; Jim Joe Edwards was 0-10 against the Yankees from '22-26; and Bob Weiland was 0-11 against the Yankees from '29-35.

Hall of Famer Red Ruffing spent 15 of his 22 big league seasons with the Yankees, and the other seven being overmatched by the Yanks (1-16, .059 winning percentage).

Carl Scheib (1943-54) against the Indians, Jack Fisher ('59-69) against the Dodgers, Ownie Carroll ('25-34) against the A's, Fred Heimach ('20-33) against the Yankees and Eric Erickson ('14-22) against the Yanks were all 1-12.

Sharing the 1-11 struggles with Gallardo are Marcelino Lopez (1963-72 against the Yankees), Mike Cvengros ('22-29 against the Yanks) and Greg Harris ('81-94 against the Twins).

Homebodies
The Miami Marlins are getting comfortable at home. They went into Saturday 13-4 in Miami, averaging 6.2 runs per game and with a 2.53 ERA. On the road, they were 2-10, averaging 2.7 runs per game and a 4.66 ERA.

And then there is Arizona, which is 7-7 on the road but 3-15 at home. The D-backs' splits, however, aren't as drastic as the Marlins. Arizona is hitting .237 and averaging 3.9 runs per game with a 4.61 ERA on the road, compared to a .250 average, 3.6 runs per game and a 5.36 ERA at home.

The rotation
• Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez converted 13 saves prior to May 1, equaling the record for the opening month of the season that Kazuhiro Sasaki set with Seattle in 2001. The all-time single-month save record is 16, by Randy Myers in September 1993.

• A month into the season and right-hander Hector Noesi has appeared with three teams. He started the season with Seattle, was dealt to Texas and then claimed off waivers by the Chicago White Sox, who used him in relief on April 26, and then gave him a start in a 5-1 loss to Detroit on Wednesday.

• The Rockies are the only team that has not claimed a player off waivers the past 25 months. Their last waiver acquisition was Adam Ottavino from St. Louis on April 3, 2012. In the interim, the Blue Jays have made 28 claims, the Cubs have made 18 and the Rangers have made 17, according to MLBTradeRumors.com.

• San Diego's weekend series with Arizona is only the second time this season the Padres have faced an opponent that had a losing record at the start of a series. Colorado was 6-7 when it arrived at Petco Park on April 14. The Rockies won three of four in that series, and they went into Saturday 12-6 since.

• Surprised Detroit signed reliever Joel Hanrahan? Well, the Tigers went into Saturday with a 5.23 bullpen ERA, higher than every Major League team except Houston (5.56). Detroit relievers served up two grand slams in the American League Championship Series last October.

TMI
Texas' 9-3 loss to Oakland on Tuesday left manager Ron Washington with an 0-6 record on his birthday. Washington turned 62. That loss was the middle game of the A's three-game sweep in Arlington, which allowed Oakland to regain the AL West lead.

Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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