Classic gives manager unique look at Gallardo

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke had to stop and think about the last time he sat in the stands at a Major League ballpark. He figures it was 1999, the year before he accepted a job on the Angels coaching staff.

So it was with great interest that Roenicke settled into a seat behind home plate at Chase Field on Friday night and watched his best pitcher, Yovani Gallardo, work for Mexico against Ryan Braun and the Americans in the World Baseball Classic.

"It was really fun because not only was the crowd crazy, it was nice seeing Yo from behind the plate," Roenicke said. "Because we're always to the side, you really don't see him work when you're to the side. Being behind home plate, it was fun watching him pitch side to side and how he works. I really enjoyed it."

Gallardo allowed a run on two hits and a Braun walk in 3 1/3 innings before calling it a night at 49 pitches, and he showed no signs of the groin strain that briefly called his Classic status into doubt. Mexico scored a 5-2 upset in front of 44,256 fans.

"Kranny [Brewers pitching coach Rick Kranitz] was a little bit nervous up there," Roenicke said. "He was worried about pitch count, and is Yo really healthy? But it turned out good, and he told Dan Wright that he feels great. A little tired and just general soreness, but that was good."

Wright, Brewers general manager Doug Melvin, assistant GM Gord Ash and special assistant Craig Counsell were among Milwaukee's contingent at the game.

Braun, who was left on deck at the 2006 All-Star Futures Game when Gallardo recorded an inning-ending out, got two chances against his teammate Friday. Braun flied out in the first inning and walked in the fourth.

"I was thinking, 'Man, that's got to be weird for them,'" Roenicke said.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.