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Diamondbacks 2, Rockies 5 - Zac Gallen Sidelined

Manager Torey Lovullo pulls Gallen after 96 pitches, 9 strikeouts and 7 shutout innings. Bullpen blows game.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Talk about disappointing management. Zac Gallen had the lead through 7 innings and was only 96 pitches deep before Manager Torey Lovullo pulled the plug to start the top of the 8th. The Dbacks went with Noe Ramirez, who had just come off the Covid-IL list, and to his credit pitched a good frame last night. His short term fortunes were not enough to ward off the Rockies offense and our desire to let Gallen ride.

Zac Gallen has not won a game in his last 12 starts. In fact his last win came on the road in April. Since then the young pitcher has struggled with command and confidence. Gallen’s start was a rocky one in the 1st inning in Colorado. He managed to load the based but got out of the top of the 1st unscathed. I was pretty worried that things could go downhill from there but Gallen was locked in from that point.

The game began with a rain-delay. Which I was not thrilled about at all. This is why I do not recap games. Both teams battled in their pitching duel for the first 4 innings. It was not until the top of the 5th inning that the Dbacks broke the ice and got on the board with Varsho’s massive solo dong.

But that’s not all. In the same inning Ellis scored on a base hit by Ketel Marte who went 3 for 4 in tonight’s contest.

The Dbacks were rolling with a 2 run lead at Coors Field. The bottom of the 5th at Coors and Gallen is still in command owning Rockies hitters. The What-a-Play of the game goes to Ketel Marte with this webgem in CF during the 5th to save Gallen and keep the lead. Gallen ended the inning having thrown just 78 pitches by this time and was in a visible rhythm.

The top of the 6th came and went with the Dbacks going in order. The bottom of the 6th Gallen recorded his 9th strikeout but also gave up a hit - his 1st baserunner since loading the bases in the 1st inning.

In the top of the 7th inning shortstop Nick Ahmed struck out for his 4th time in the game, this time swinging, and earning himself the Golden Sombrero. Nick struck out looking 3 out of 4 times this game.

Gallen continued to roll through the bottom of the 6th and 7th inning. He exited the game after throwing just 96 pitches and holding the Rockies to a shutout through 7 IP.

We all sat and anticipated what Torey's move would be for the top of the 8th inning: Keep Gallen in the game, or go to the bullpen? Analytics won the battle and Torey sat Gallen and called for Noe Ramirez to start the top of the 8th. Ramirez promptly walked the lead off batter, Diaz, then gave up the game tying HR to some guy named Garret Hampson. All was lost. I assumed the inevitable outcome at this point. Game tied 2-2.

The Dbacks offense in the top of the 9th tried and attempted to scratch in a run. Christian Walker’s lead off single followed by Varsho’s long line drive that was caught near the wall allowing Walker to skid into 2nd base after tagging-up was hopeful but was not enough. Torey pulled the plug on Nick Ahmed and brought in Josh Rojas, one of the hottest bats in MLB right now, after Ahmed went 0-4 at the plate with 4 strikeouts. But even that proved powerless as the Rockies pitched around Rojas to face VanMeter, resulting in the 3rd out of the top half of the 9th. Eventually the rally died and led to no runs. The Rockies came to bat in the bottom of the 9th, score still tied 2-2.

Torey went with (freshly released A’s pitcher) J.B. Wendelken in the bottom of the 9th. All I heard about this guy from the radio booth was how good he is because he was on Bob Melvin’s A’s and that the Dbacks were smart to pick him up. Wendelken managed to record two outs before he gave up the walk-off 3 run HR to Rockies catcher Diaz after a fierce back and forth battle at the plate. Rockies 5 , Dbacks 2, My Liver 0.

While the Dbacks were badass taking 3 of 4 from the Dads and then sweeping the Harpers, I cannot help to think that OVER THINKING lost this game for us. Gallen had battled his way from loading the bases in the 1st and overcame the odds. He the went on to basically own the Rockies hitters in Coors Field and was pulled prematurely in favor of the Dbacks bullpen. Which as you all know, is not good at all. At a minimum Torey could have allowed Gallen a chance to lose the game on his own after how deep he went with his pitch count and strikeouts. Why over complicate things? The game belonged to Gallen, until he was sidelined and game-planned.

It was a lightly populated gameday thread this evening. There were only 157 comments spread out among the 15 participants. Tonight’s roll call:

AzDbackfanInDc, Diamondhacks, GuruB, Jack Sommers, Jim McLennan, Michael McDermott, NikT77, Oldenschoole, Schilling2001, Snacks&Dbacks, Snake_Bitten, blue_bulldog, edbigghead, kilnborn, since_98

There was no Sedona Red comment for the night.

Pulp Fiction: Zac Gallen (+50.3%)
Kill Bill Vol. 1: Ketel Marte (+14.5%), Daulton Varsho (+10.2%)
The Hateful Eight: J.B. Wendelken (-33.3%)

The Diamondbacks will try to avoid the road sweep in Colorado tomorrow with Taylor Widener taking the mound for the Snakes and Jon Gray taking the hill for the Rockies. Game time is 12:10 MST.