So I was quite excited not to be recapping a Bumgarner start tonight, and in fact to be recapping a Zac Gallen start. Gallen’s starts usually go pretty well, or at least they have done, of late. Sadly, not so much tonight, though at the end of the day it wasn’t even remotely his fault, I don’t think.
He was facing off against Joe Musgrove for San Diego, but I mean who cares, right? It’s Gallen. He’s got this.
Alas, his control was kind of all over the place tonight, and the Padres hitters, either because of scouting or because of what they saw of where his pitches were going, didn’t swing their bats much early, because they didn’t have to. Zac got through the first three innings without incident, putting up zeroes, but he used a lot more pitches than usual to do so. It took him 29 pitches to get through the first, pitching around two walks and a single that loaded the bases. He pitched around a two-out single in the second, using another 20 pitches, which turned the San Diego lineup over but put him at 49 through two innings of work. Gallen worked a ten-pitch third, which was nice, and sat the top of the Padres lineup down in order, which was also nice.
The game finally caught up with him in the top of the fourth, though, when he surrendered a leadoff Jake Cronenworth double to center. A grounder to third allowed Cronenworth to advance, and a flyout to center off the bat of Padres shortstop Ha-Seong Kim brought Cronenworth home for the first run. Luis Campusano, San Diego’s alleged “catcher of the future” then launched a two-out dinger over the wall in left center. Maybe the future is now. I dunno. 2-0 San Diego
And yeah, that’s basically everything of note that happened in this ballgame. Gallen wound up going 51⁄3 innings, needing 105 pitches to get there, and finished with what is frankly a pretty respectable pitching line of 5.1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, and 4 K. Not great for the Gallen we’ve come to expect over the last couple of months, but good enough for most starters on most teams on most nights. Good enough for many starters to notch a win. Not today, though, alas.
So here’s the thing. You may have noticed that we’re pretty much halfway through the game, and I have not once mentioned the Diamondbacks offense. That is not an omission, or at least it’s not an omission on my part. Simply put, our bats just didn’t show up tonight.
Jake McCarthy hit a two-out single to left in the bottom of the first. Corbin Carroll, DHing tonight, beat out an infield single to lead off the second. Christian Walker went oppo for a one-out single in the fourth. Daulton Varsho hit a one-out hustle double to right in the sixth. Jake McCarthy singled again to left with one out in the bottom of the ninth. That was it. None of those runners advanced at all after they reached base. Joe Musgrove was done after six for the Friars, but our offense couldn’t do any more against San Diego’s bullpen than they could do with Musgrove. No video highlights tonight, because there were none.
Caleb Smith pitched 22⁄3 reasonably clean scoreless innings for us after relieving Gallen, and Mark Melancon put up a zero pitching the top of the ninth, but if the hitters aren’t hitting, it doesn’t matter. And the hitters weren’t hitting. Thus and so. 2-0 San Diego FINAL
Win Probability Added, courtesy of FanGraphs
Emperor of a Very Tiny World: Caleb Smith (22⁄3 IP, 1 H, 1 K, +10.4% WPA)
Emperor of Nothing Much at All: Christian Walker ( 4 AB, 1 H, -11.3% WPA for whatever reason...at least the dude got a hit)
It was a very lightly attended Gameday Thread, in which we only managed to limp into triple digits with 103 comments. Nothing went Sedona Red at time of writing, so I’m giving the Comment of the Game to Heath Klein, for this absolutely true comment that should have been turned red, regarding the run support that Gallen absolutely deserves, and so rarely gets:
Yeah, it’s the bottom one. Sadly, the team didn’t pick Zac up tonight, but it should have. CotG right there.
Anyway. Thanks to Bum last night and the musk oxen over in Greenland this evening, we no longer have a shot at a series win. We can still salvage a split tomorrow, though, so please consider joining us as Ryne Nelson (2-0 in his first two MLB starts, and deeply impressive in both outings) faces off against hoary veteran Yu Darvish. First pitch is 1:10pm AZ time. If you’re not watching NFL football, you should drop in. Even if we haven’t located our bats yet, Ryne Nelson is a lot of fun to watch. He seems to have legitimately good stuff, and arms like his are the future.
Good night, all. As always, thanks for reading. As always, go Diamondbacks!