Looking at Stone Garrett’s stats for the year, you wonder why he wasn’t called up earlier. But a closer look saw a hitter struggling a bit since the start of August. You’d certainly not notice it with how he’s attacked some really good Giants pitchers the last two games, but in 14 August games, he had a .196/.222/.412 slash line across 51 AB’s. Nitpicking? Maybe, but for an organization that called him up, maybe that slump threw some caution in the wind to Stone’s sails. We’ll never know why they took so long to give him a chance while many others had multiple opportunities, but the club is happy he’s up and proving everyone wrong.
Zac Gallen vs Logan Webb in this one, and if the MLB still did those ‘Ace Off’ photos with each half of good pitchers when they faced each other, both of these guys would have half a face splashed around socials. What actually transpired was a different story, as the young guys pounced on Webb, sending him out of the game in the 5th. He hasn’t pitched less than 5 innings in 13 starts, and during that time he was phenomenal with a 2.36 ERA.
The D-backs pounced early, as new guy Stone Garrett singled and Josh Rojas walked to bring up Christian Walker. He worked a long at-bat, and on the 7th pitch smashed a changeup 103.5 off the bat...right to Longoria who lept in the air and smoothly threw onto 2nd for the double play. Brutal.
No matter as Gallen was up to the pitching duel, striking out the first two and getting a ground ball for a clean 9-pitch inning. He actually allowed a single to lead off the 2nd, but Belt was doubled up, and J.D. Davis struck out for good measure to keep the Maddux going.
The offense got things going in their half of the 3rd inning, as Alcantara walked and moved to 2nd on the sac bunt by Perdomo. A single from Varsho scored Alcantara from 2nd, but he was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. That wasn’t it for the offense, as back-to-back doubles from Garrett and Rojas gave the team a 2-0 lead. And with Gallen dealing, that’s all they’d need.
Another two strikeouts in the 3rd, double play in the 4th, two more strikeouts in the 5th, and a trio of Ks in the 6th had Gallen still in contention for a Maddux heading into the 7th. Unfortunately he unraveled a bit after a long LaMonte Wade Jr. at-bat to lead off the 7th. He flew out after 8 pitches, but a Thairo Estrada strike out keep the dream alive - until Pederson singled to right. Longora doubled down the left field line, just out of reach of Alcantara at third, putting two runners in scoring position for Belt. He was overmatched, striking out on a bunt attempt gone foul.
The 8th seemed like it was going to start the same, with a first-pitch fly ball to center that Alek Thomas just whiffed on it, clanking off his glove for an E-8. No matter. A line out to Perdomo from Crawford for the first out and at 99 pitches that was it for the young gun. All told, he struck out a career-high 12 Giants, allowing 4 hits in 7 1/3rds innings. But with the runner on 2nd, the bullpen was summoned. Ho-hum. Noe Ramirez and Kevin Ginkel squashed any comeback hopes with clean appearances to end the game.
The offense? Oh right. A couple singles in the 4th from McCarthy and Kelly with an Alcantara ground out pushed the lead to 3-0 and in the 5th the team broke Webb’s back with a nice little 2-out rally. Garrett reached on a clank from Joc in left, and Walker, McCarthy and Kelly combined for three straight singles for another two runs, giving us our final score of 5-0.
All told today was a nice way to bounce back after the disaster that was Tuesday and as Jim mentioned, one strike away from a series win against the Giants. You still gotta take a 4-3 road trip at this point. This team continues to show heart, and that’s all you can ask for as a fan.
Never in doubt with Gallen’s exquisite performance leading the way with a +.256 WPA. Other contributors included Carson Kelly with a +.139 WPA thanks to 2 for 3 with a walk day.
Comment of the thread goes to Jim. You’ve heard it here first folks, he’s a fan of the double play.
Big time matchup this weekend, as the Cardinals come to Chase Field led by MVP forerunner Paul Goldschmidt for a 3-game series. First pitch is 6:40pm.