Much has been said about Zac Gallen from those more talented than I, Zach Buchanan gave some backstory to where this guy came from and how he got here to Dan Szymborski detailing his recently ended scoreless innings streak. In a trade that looked to be tailing the Marlins way after an MVP-type start from Jazz Chisholm, the D-backs and Gallen have turned the corner, with Zac poised to see Cy Young votes and the bonus money that comes with it. And at 27 years old and reaching arbitration for the first time under superagent Scott Boras, Gallen is going to get paid and it won’t be at a discount after shafting him over a couple thousand earlier in his career.
For the Dodgers, another Cy Young candidate took the mound in Julio Urias. For as good as Gallen has been, Urias has been just as good. Over the last month and 25 innings for the two of them, Urias has a 1.80 ERA and a 4-0 record compared to Gallen’s 1.78 ERA and 3-1 record. Fans were in for a treat.
And both of them delivered. Both matched each other through the first couple of innings, each grabbing two strikeouts as they headed into the 3rd inning scoreless. The D-backs finally broke through with Sergio Alcantara singling to right to start things off. Varsho lined a ball in the hole, and Lux attempted to get the lead runner at second base, but it was wide of the bag and let both runners advance. Perdomo weakly grounded out on a pulled-in infield, and after a Ketel Marte walk, Stone Garrett lined a ball to center, scoring Alcantara and giving the D-backs a 1-0 lead.
Gallen responded in turn, striking out the side and needing only 14 pitches to do so. But the 4th saw Gallen’s first signs of trouble, albeit it started as normal. Trea Turner struck out, and Freeman grounded out to 1st, but with Rivera playing defense his toss to the bag was high, causing Gallen to hit the back of the bag and awkwardly twist his ankle a bit. He shook it off and induced a lazy fly ball down the left field line, as Stone Garrett tried to dive for it and it rolled past him for a triple and the first hit of the game for the Dodgers. Muncy fought off 4 straight curveballs before lining a cutter down the line for a double, tying things up at 1-1.
And that was all the Dodgers could muster against Zac Gallen as he was masterful across his career-high 8 innings, allowing just two hits while striking out 13. Take a moment and bask in the glory that is the Zac God.
Urias and the bullpen managed to keep the D-backs at bay themselves, with 11 strikeouts of their own across the same 8 innings. Of course, they have a high-functioning bullpen with a closer problem of their own as Craig Kimbrel came on in the 9th.
Immediately Jake McCarthy mimed a hit-by-pitch that was somehow allowed after a review. He also stole 2nd but bounced off the bag thanks to his speed and the applied tag ruled him out with Christian Walker at-bat. No matter.
His 36th homer of the year put the D-backs up 2-1.
Unfortunately for Zac, he had to give up the ball to the D-backs bullpen, in this case, Reyes Moronta. Bellinger worked the count full before hitting this pitch off the wall for a leadoff double. Turner grounded out and Free Freeman was intentionally walked to bring up Will Smith, who lined a ball between shortstop and 3rd that a diving Perdomo was able to corral, but was late on his throw the 2nd, loading things up for Muncy against Joe Mantiply. Up 1-2 in the count, Mantiply induced a swing on a pitch off the plate hit just weak enough to allow everyone to reach safely, tying up at 2 all. Justin Turner struck out for the 2nd out, but pinch-hitter Mookie Betts did MVP-type things and lined a 3-2 pitch to left for the game winner, 3-2 Dodgers.
All you need to see is Zac Gallen at +.400 WPA and the bullpen at a combined -.809 WPA. Walker’s 9th inning homer rounded out his day for a +.288 WPA on the evening.
Not much in the way of red in the Gamethread so no one wins tonight! Tommy Henry gets the call to start against the Giants in the first game of the D-backs last home series. First pitch is 6:40pm!