Looking to complete a 3-game sweep of the Giants, the Diamondbacks turned to Zac Gallen on the mound against Giants ace Logan Webb. In a match-up of the team’s two aces, Gallen didn’t go deep in his start but managed to hold the Giants at bay.
Gallen’s final line was 5 innings, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) on 3 hits, 1 walk, and 5 strikeouts on 93 pitches (57 strikes) for a no-decision. A 34-pitch 4th inning likely prevented him from going any deeper in the game, but the bullpen picked him up.
The D-backs put on a small ball clinic to score 3 runs in the 7th inning to break a 2-2 tie, utilizing a pair of bunts and some terrific baserunning to catch the Giants defense off-guard.
Ketel Marte drew first blood in the bottom of the first, courtesy of his 10th home run of the year.
Marte’s blast left the bat at 106 MPH and traveled 403 feet, giving the D-backs an early 1-0 lead. After Marte’s blast, Bob Brenly noted that since the All-Star break the D-backs have scored 16 runs with 2 outs while holding their opponents to 1.
Gallen retired the first seven Giants he faced before LaMonte Wade Jr. singled for the Giants’ first baserunner. Gallen retired the next two hitters despite a 9-pitch at-bat from Austin Wynns driving up the pitch count. He would not be as lucky in the 4th, as the Giants scored two runs on a Thairo Estrada RBI single and a missed catch error by shortstop Sergio Alcántara on a stolen base attempt. Not only did the Giants take the lead, but it took Gallen 36 pitches to finish the inning.
The D-backs were able to answer in the 4th inning. Marte doubled down the right field line for his and the team’s second hit of the game. After Christian Walker fouled out to third, David Peralta picked him up with a double into the right field corner.
The double scored Marte from second, tying the game at 2-2. Daulton Varsho walked to add another baserunner, but Jake McCarthy flied out to left for the final out.
Zac Gallen retired the side in order in the 5th inning to complete his start. Due to the 36-pitch 4th inning, the D-backs elected to go to the bullpen to start the 6th. Caleb Smith was the first man out of the pen, pitching around a walk to post a zero.
Lovullo sent out Smith again for the 7th to face a pair of right-handed hitters despite Smith’s bad track record against them. Smith allowed a double to Estrada then retired pinch hitter Darrin Ruf on a foul pop fly to first before getting lifted for Noé Ramirez. Ramirez stranded his inherited runner with a pair of fly ball outs.
After a couple of scoreless innings, the D-backs finally got to Webb in the 7th. McCarthy reached on a bunt single, although the D-backs had to challenge the out call. Alcántara singled through the left side of the infield to move McCarthy to third while advancing on the throw. Herrera came to the plate, much to the confusion of myself and Jim, but found a way to make something happen.
A perfectly placed safety squeeze bunt and a throwing error by Brandon Belt allowed two runs to score although Herrera was caught attempting to advance to second. Josh Rojas then capped an outstanding series in epic fashion.
Josh Rojas ships one out pic.twitter.com/FdcQ2TQwls— Bally Sports Arizona (@BALLYSPORTSAZ) July 27, 2022
After manufacturing some drama involving what the Giants manager may or may not have said over the weekend, Rojas has gone 4 for 8 in the series with a home run, 3 stolen bases, 2 RBI, and a run scored. Legend!
With the lead, it was up to the bullpen to close out the game. Ramirez retired two of the three hitters he faced, but gave up a double to Austin Slater. Joe Mantiply came in for a left-on-left matchup but Belt singled down the LF line to score Slater from second and trim the lead to 5-3. Mantiply retired the other Luis Gonzalez on a ground ball to first for the final out.
The D-backs were unable to answer in the bottom of the 8th despite a tough battle by McCarthy with a runner in scoring position. That prompted Mark Melancon to come in and attempt to save a 2-run lead. Despite giving up a bloop hit to Estrada and walking Yermin Mercedes, Melancon got two fly outs to right and struck out Tommy LaStella for the final out to complete the sweep and give the D-backs their 5th win in 6 games after the All-Star break.
Fangraphs Win Probability Added Chart
BFGs: Noé Ramirez +14.5%, Sergio Alcántara +10.9%, David Peralta +12.9%, Ketel Marte +11.7%
Goliath: Alek Thomas -8.2%
Despite being a Wednesday afternoon game, the Snake Pit Game Day Thread was rocking with 261 comments. Our site manager Jim managed to win Comment of the Day by memeing on the story of what Giants manager Gabe Kapler may or may not have said before the series.