Early in spring training teammates knew something was different about Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse. First it was small things they noticed. Yo seemed a little more reserved except for the occasional "seed shower" during television interviews. Lohse was a little more outspoken. Of course it wasn’t all that surprising. Gallardo was coming off the worst season of his career and Lohse was just more comfortable coming into his second season with the Brewers.
It wasn’t until Jonathan Lucroy started catching them that he began to suspect something was really wrong. "I pushed it from my mind," Lucroy said. "It was just impossible. It had to be."
It wasn’t though.
The two pitchers were initially apprehensive to talk about it for fear of persecution. "We thought people would think we’re crazy," Lohse admitted. "I mean, it’s pretty insane if you’re on the outside looking in," Gallardo added.
What on Earth is going on, you ask? To put it plainly, Yovani Gallardo and Kyle Lohse have had their bodies switched. Yes. I’m serious.
Still here? Think I’m nuts? I don’t blame you. But when you look closely it’s pretty obvious. Pitcher A: 9.03 K/9, 25% strikeout rate, 3.05 BB/9. Pitcher B: 6.27 K/9, 1.45 BB/9, 53.6% ground ball rate. Pitcher A is a strikeout guy who maybe gives up walks a little more than you’d like. Pitcher B is a pitch to contact ground ball guy with excellent precision which allows him to limit the free passes.
You know based on history that Pitcher A is Yovani Gallardo and Pitcher B is Kyle Lohse. You’re wrong though. It’s the other way around and there’s only one explanation.
"Gypsy curse," Gallardo says. "In late February, to celebrate the end of winter and the coming season, we went to a carnival. It was one of those small ones that doesn’t really have any good rides."
"I thought it’d be fun to get our fortunes read," explained Lohse. "I jokingly asked the palm reader if Yo would ever learn how to pitch. Then he asked her if I’d ever learn how to get a strikeout. We started to argue about pitching philosophy and I guess maybe we got on her nerves or something. Anyway, she told us we just needed a change in perspective and gave us each a ticket for a free snow-cone."
"It was the snow-cone," agrees Gallardo. "I got raspberry. It was okay but they didn’t use enough syrup. It was free so it is what it is I guess. I don’t really remember what happened after that. I woke up on the beach the following morning next to this really chill golden retriever. It must have been a stray, but it was really friendly. I like dogs."
"Uh, anyway," Lohse continues. "Neither one of us knew what happened until we got home. I won’t go into details, but it was an awkward way to find out."
So what now?
"[We] just have to take things day to day," Gallardo said. "I’m not sure if we’ll ever get back to our old selves but if I know my 80’s movies, and I do, once we learn a powerful life lesson about respecting each other’s differences, that should do it."
"Right now I’m just trying to go out there make my pitches and hit my spots. You just want to give the team a chance to win. That’s all you can do," Lohse said.
They both admit that it’s taking some time to get used to their new lives. Gallardo misses his dog, but thinks Hank is pretty cool. So far on the field it’s been smooth sailing. The pair has combined for 6 starts, 39.1 IP, and 9 ER. That's good for a 2.06 ERA. The Brewers are 5-1 when they take the mound. They attribute it partially to the now outdated scouting reports on the pair.
When asked for comment Ron Roenicke simply said, "As long as they can bunt, it’s all the same to me."