Zac Gallen throws 2 scoreless innings in D-backs’ spring training opener

Feb 28, 2021, 3:56 PM | Updated: 4:12 pm
(AP Photo/Matt York)...
(AP Photo/Matt York)
(AP Photo/Matt York)

Zac Gallen got the starting nod for the Arizona Diamondbacks in Sunday’s spring training opener against the Colorado Rockies at Salt River Fields.

The right-hander got two innings of work in, throwing 47 pitches (29 strikes) to the nine batters he faced.

“I felt okay. You know me, I’m a perfectionist so I want everything to be in-season form on Feb. 28,” Gallen said of his outing via Zoom.

“Just some small things to work through — delivery felt a little bit off. Talking to Carson (Kelly), the action and the shape on the pitches were good. Just some minor things that I need to clean up — not to worry but just something that I’m going to concentrate on going forward.”

Gallen may have allowed four baserunners via two hits and two walks, but the 25-year-old was able to hold the Rockies to no runs while also striking out one.

Colorado was also 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position while Gallen was on the bump.

Gallen was replaced by Taylor Clarke in the bottom of the third inning with the D-backs up 2-0.

“All the stuff (Kelly) said had good shape,” Gallen said. “The (changeups) were just coming out early but still had decent action. Probably just something along the lines of just changing my sights — my aiming point basically — is what it was. My curveball was sharp, down.

“So for Feb. 28 stuff-wise, I felt pretty good. … Reminding yourself of those cues. You can get really good at catch-plays and bullpens and live BPs, but there’s nothing that can really get you ready for seeing another team and another guy in the box.”

Sunday also marked the first time the Diamondbacks have been able to play in front of fans in nearly a year.

“It was cool to have fans out there,” Gallen said. “Not having to listen to the fake pumped-in crowd noise was a huge positive in my book. It was awesome. Hopefully this is the first step toward normalcy.”

Albeit a limited capacity crowd, outfielder David Peralta was enthusiastic about being able to interact with youngsters out on the lawn.

“I think I was the first guy to throw a ball to the fans, so I think I’m the first one,” he said via Zoom. “I really missed that. I had a couple kids asking for a ball and I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to be the first guy!’

“That’s the part that you miss — make those days for little fans, little kids that come to watch you play and that was pretty good. I think that’s the first part of it I missed from last year.”

The D-backs would go on to lose the game, 5-2.

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