Tonight is the night! It’s Gallen versus Verlander! This is the game of the seasons. How can it not be? THE pitcher of the retiring generation against a contender for THE pitcher of the upcoming generation? I wanna see every pitch!
There are offenses too. But do I really need to discuss those? Ours is not great. Houston’s is rather excellent. Even without the trash cans so many still seem deadset on bringing up any time Space City is mentioned.
Not only is this a potentially excellent pitching duel waiting to happen, this could also be win 72 for the snakes. That’s a 20 game improvement over 2021. Impressive? Yes. Historic? Yes. Fingers crossed y’all, fingers crossed.
|Daulton Varsho - CF||Jeremy Pena - SS|
|Pavin Smith - DH||Aledmys Diaz - 2B|
|Jake McCarthy - RF||Kyle Tucker - RF|
|Christian Walker - 1B||Alex Bregman - 3B|
|Ketel Marte - 2B||Christian Vazquez - DH|
|Josh Rojas - 3B||Trey Mancini - 1B|
|Corbin Carroll - LF||Chas McCormick - LF|
|Carson Kelly - C||Mauricio Dubon - CF|
|Geraldo Perdomo - SS||Martin Maldonado - C|
|Zac Gallen - RHP||Justin Verlander - RHP|
Varsho led the game off with a double to right/center. Smith broke his bat on a blooper that Pena couldn’t handle. Runners at first and third no outs. Then a passed ball allowed Varsho TO SCORE and Smith to second. McCarthy then bunted to first, perfectly. He beat the thrown/Verlander to base. Houston challenged because they arrived at essentially the exact same time. They lost. Yikes. Losing your challenge in the first inning. Even for a team playing for nothing, that’s bold. Walker followed the slight delay with a sac fly, SCORING SMITH. Marte flew out to center, but McCarthy couldn’t advance. McCarthy stole second during Rojas’ at bat; Maldonado bobbled the ball, making it a non-play at second (he had a rough first). It was for naught though, as Rojas struck out swinging.
Pena led the bottom off with a 7 pitch at bat that ended in a ground out. Diaz quickly lined out to third (Rojas looked good, which is nice). Tucker then watched strike three, ending the inning.
Carroll got star struck and flew out to center on one pitch. Kelly struck out swinging. Perdomo blooped into center just over not-Altuve at second. Then Verlander threw a pickoff attempt away and Perdomo took second. Maldonado then misplayed another ball in the dirt, giving Perdomo third. Varsho worked a nice walk during all the excitement. Unfortunately, Smith made poor contact again, but this time it was an easy pop up for the third baseman. No damage done other than making Verlander work.
Gallen struck Bregman out swinging. Then Vazquez reached first on a swinging bunt to third. Rojas let it roll and it stayed fair. C’est la vie. Mancini made it a moot point when he grounded sharply to third and Rojas made a great play to turn the double play.
McCarthy worked a 7 pitch at bat that sadly resulted in a strike out. Walker however grounded out to third on 2 pitches, negating McCarthy’s work. Marte one upped him by flying out to center on the first pitch he saw.
McCormick grounded to short, which Perdomo made a nice play to get to, but his momentum took him the wrong way, so his throw was juuuust late. Gallen got Dubon to ground into a double play started by Marte. Maldonado popped out to second. A busy inning for Marte, but an excellent showing by Gallen.
Rojas struck out swinging. As did Carroll. Kelly doubled to deep right, just missing a home run sadly. After a mound visit, Perdomo popped out to third, ending the inning.
Pena grounded out to short. Diaz lined out to short and Tucker struck out swinging.
Varsho struck out swinging. Smith grounded out to second. McCarthy then lined out to left. A 9 pitch inning had Verlander back in the game.
Unfortunately this was when Gallen’s season of excellence faltered a tad. After getting Bregman to fly to center and Vazquez on strikes, Mancini doubled to center and McCormick homered to right, tying the game. Dubon then flew out to second, ending the inning.
With 10 pitches, Verlander got Walker to fly to center, Marte to ground to first and Rojas looking at strike three. After the Rojas strike out, both Rojas and Lovullo got ejected by the umps. Rojas for slamming his bat down and Lovullo for arguing.
Alcantara in at third for Rojas. Maldonado stuck out. Pena singled to left. Diaz flew out to center. Tucker grounded out to second. A quick inning for Gallen at least.
Verlander hit Carroll with pitch 6 of the at bat. Kelly then singled left, moving Carroll to third. Buuuuuuut the D’Backs showed up.... Perdomo popped out to first on a bunt attempt, Varsho “flew” out to short, and Smith struck out swinging (Kelly stole second during this at bat). Le Sigh.
Gallen walked Bregman. Vazquez grounded out to third, which should have just been an out at first, but Bregman ran into a TOOTBLAN and Alcantara tagged him for one out; Vazquez at first. Mancini lined out to short. McCormick then bunted to third, Gallen slid to grab it, but bobbled the transfer and everyone was safe. Dubon struck out swinging (Kelly couldn’t hold the ball, but got him at first).
Montero pitching. McCarthy struck out swinging. Walker struck out looking because the ump had cataracts. It was BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD y’all. Somehow Walker did not get thrown out even though he definitely threw a bigger hissy fit than Rojas (but no bat was thrown). Marte then flew out to center again.
Ginkel in to pitch. Gulp. Maldonado hit a sharp grounder to first but Walker was thankfully there and beat the catcher to the bag. Then Pena struck out swinging. Diaz also struck out swinging.
Pressly now pitching. Alcanatar struck out swinging. Carroll also struck out swinging. Kelly lined out to short.
Moronta in to pitch. Tucker grounded into the mound and it funny hopped into left for a single. Bregman flew out to right and McCarthy made an amazing play to keep the game going. Tucker stole second during Vazquez’s at bat, who struck out swinging. But Mancini walked, to bring up McCormick, who walked. Altuve pinch hit. He popped out to Marte at second.
Smith on to pitch. Some defensive changes as well. Kelly was the spooky runner. Perdomo quickly bunted up the third base line, moving Kelly to third and getting himself to first. Varsho grounded to second, and they chose to eliminate Perdomo, but KELLY SCORED and Varsho made it to first. Garrett then hit for Smith. Varsho stole second. Garrett struck out swinging. McCarthy grounded to second, but it was so fast, the defender bobbled the ball, Varsho to third. Abreu took over for Smith. McCarthy took second without a throw on the first pitch Abreu threw. WALKER SINGLED TO LEFT SCORING BOTH VARSHO AND MCCARTHY! Walker was thrown out at second to end the inning.
Melancon on the mound. G-U-L-P. Hensley is the Space version of the spooky runner. Diaz quickly grounded out to short, no advance for the spooky guy. Pena flew out to center in a play where Varsho made a great sliding grab. Hensley to Spookier took third, but two outs. Diaz grounded out to short, ENDING THE GAME!
5-2 DIAMONDBACKS WIN
While I was expecting a prettier pitcher’s duel, this game did not disappoint.
- Gallen: 7.0IP, 6H, 2R, 2ER, 1BB, 6SO, 1HR on 104 pitches
- Verlander: 7.0IP, 6H, 2R, 1ER, 1BB, 8SO, 0HR on 101 pitches
It doesn’t really get much closer than that now does it? The offense was stymied again tonight, but they worked together enough to scratch two runs across in the first and 3 in the tenth when it mattered. Going against a multiple Cy Young winner and first ballot HOFer, there’s no shame in that. In fact, it’s almost more impressive to score off Verlander with small ball and errors than it is solo home runs (which is what I expected our scoring to look like going in).
Goes to Michael tonight.
On a day where Gallen is dueling with Verlander (and we’re all watching), the team was stringing together offense against a HOF pitcher, we all focused on a relatively meaningless home run off the bat of a guy playing for the Yankees. Judge’s feat is incredible, don’t get me wrong (I rec’d the comment), but 61 only ties the AL record. It doesn’t break it, and the MLB record is still 73.
Off day on Thursday so the team can fly to San Francisco. On Friday, Merrill Kelly will take on the illustrious TBD at 7:15pm Arizona Time. If you view 3rd place as an important milestone for the year, this is the series to watch.