“He need some milk.”
Zac Gallen starts are a weird paradox to recap right now. When you draw his starts, it is almost like picking a scratch-off lottery ticket at the gas station. The first seven innings of revealing numbers looks like you’re in for a winner, but then he gets removed from the game for pitch count with you realizing that you have only wasted time and money in the end. That is where I find myself right now. I need some milk. The Diamondbacks offense needs some milk. The Diamondbacks bullpen needs some milk. The “Milk Man” delivered, but the milk soured real quick.
Gallen built upon his MLB record tonight with the most starts to begin a career allowing three earned runs or less, but it did not matter. His offense behind him did nothing to secure the victory. Gallen gave up only one one hit through seven innings, striking out seven Dodgers and walking two along the way. The Los Angeles Dodgers lone hit against him came on the very first pitch to Mookie Betts in the bottom of the first inning, a ground ball to center field. Following that single Gallen was lights out for the remainder of his outing. His pitch movement was incredible. His stress and effort level was minimal. His dominance was apparent. Gallen retired twenty of the next twenty one Dodgers he faced after the Betts lead off single. It is a f^(k!-g shame because this is obviously one of the best, young starting pitchers the Arizona Diamondbacks have had in a very long time, but they fail to put up any support behind him.
That is exactly what happened again tonight. Arizona failed to produce anything against Los Angeles starter, Walker Buehler. He missed his previous start due to blisters on his throwing hand and found himself on a pitch limit tonight. The Diamondbacks had a chance to take the lead against him in the top of the second, but a base running gaffe from David Peralta prevented that. Arizona had Peralta on third base and Josh Rojas on first with only one out in the top of the second. Nick Ahmed flew out to Betts in right field. David started halfway to home and then stopped knowing Betts has one of the best outfield arms in the game. However, the throw home sailed high which would have allowed Peralta to score. Except his back was already turned to the ball, so he did not see that the throw was errant. Just like that there were two outs and Arizona would go on to miss an early scoring opportunity.
Arizona did draw first blood in the top of the sixth inning against Dodger reliver Caleb Ferguson after Buehler hit his pitch limit. Christian Walker hit a solo home run just over the left field wall with one out giving Arizona the 1-0 lead. From there it was obvious that Arizona’s chances to win the game would depend on how far Zac Gallen could pitch into the later innings. Gallen’s leash lasted until the bottom of the eighth inning, but was lifted in favor of Stefan Crichton after issuing a full count- lead off walk to Joc Pederson. Crichton promptly recorded a double play and finished the inning off with a line out to maintain the 1-0 lead heading into the ninth inning.
That is where the pain returned. Now without a clear cut designated closer, Torey Lovullo turned to Kevin Ginkel in the bottom of the ninth inning. Where the Diamondbacks are flailing around in misery this season after the trade deadline, Los Angeles’ big offseason acquisition, Mookie Betts, hit a one out solo home run to center field to tie the game at one apiece. That ensured that for the first time this season that the D’backs would be playing in extra innings.
Dalton Varsho started the top of the tenth inning at second base against Kenley Jansen having been the last recorded out the previous inning. A walk to Kole Calhoun and some elbow pad music to Ketel Marte loaded the bases with one out. Unfortunately, Arizona could only muster a single run with this golden scoring opportunity courtesy of a bases loaded walk from Christian Walker.
All they needed to do was record three outs, for the second time in two innings, to notch a win behind a solid Gallen start. Matters unraveled quickly in the Dodgers bottom tenth inning. Max Muncy was the instant runner at second base to begin the inning. Chris Taylor made it well known he would be bunting to advance him to third base. A few botched attempts ensued before he finally hit one right back to reliever Junior Guerra. Guerra fell to his knees to field the ball and rushed a throw to Eduardo Escobar, who was slow to the bag, in attempt to cut down Muncy at third base. The throw sailed wide into foul territory allowing Muncy to score and tie the game once again. Now Los Angeles had the winning run at second base with no outs. Taylor advanced to third on a ground out from Joc Pederson, and a line single to right field from Will Smith cemented the Los Angeles come from behind 3-to-2 victory. Pain. I need some milk.
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