It’s always nice when you see Zac Gallen penciled in as the projected starter, recent results be damned. He’s not been his Cy Young self since the All-Star break, with an ERA just under 4 since then, but his last start against this same Padres team seemed to right the ship. If the Diamondbacks are going to have any chance of making the postseason, they’ll need Zac Gallen at his absolute best to finish the season. And thankfully, he played his part.
It wasn’t without its warts, however. Gallen allowed hard-hit balls all night, but thankfully they were right at D-backs fielders.
Exit velos against Zac Gallen from the fourth inning on:— Jesse Friedman (@JesseNFriedman) August 18, 2023
Gallen allowed three hits all night, a one-out double in the 3rd that he stranded there. But after a leadoff double in the 5th to Cronenworth, a 2-out single by Grisham scored that runner from second to give the Padres their only run on the night. He’d end his day getting the first out of the 7th inning and 100 pitches, giving way to a beleaguered bullpen.
But both Kyle Nelson and newly-recalled Justin Martinez were excellent in relief. Nelson struck out three of his four outs, and Martinez matched the three strikeouts. But was his usual wild self, walking two in the 9th to put some fear in D-backs fans’ hearts before striking out the Machado and Cronenworth on nasty split-finger fastballs to earn his first save.
The offense did just enough to eke out a victory. They could only match the Padres three hits on the nights, but a walk to Carroll in the 4th and a homer from Pham gave the team their first two runs, and a Moreno opposite field wall scraper in the 5th gave us the final run on the night, 3-1 D-backs victory.
And with that victory, the D-backs continue to change their fate after it seemed like the season was over. They’re now only a half-game out of the final playoff spot. Exciting times.