Gallen is good but not great for D-backs in loss to Giants
PHOENIX – In what began as a pitching duel between starters, Arizona Diamondbacks hurler Zac Gallen blinked first and the D-backs bullpen fell apart yet again in a 7-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field on Wednesday.
Centerfielder Ketel Marte extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the eighth inning. He was 1-for-4.
Both pitchers were extremely sharp on the mound, but Giants starter Kevin Gausman was much more economical with his pitches. Gallen peppered in some walks and had some lengthy at bats drive his pitch count up early.
He was still very effective with his low 90 mph cutter and a four-seam fastball mixed with his knuckle curve and was able to tally four strikeouts after three innings.
But the Milkman threw an 85-mph slider out of the strike zone to second baseman Donovan Solano in the fourth inning, who took him yard for a solo shot that was San Francisco’s first run of the game.
“The homer, it backed up a little bit, but still it was down below the zone,” Gallen said on the pitch that was hit for the home run. “I would feel OK throwing that pitch again. I have a feeling that it would probably get a little bit better result.”
After giving up a single and a one-out walk in the sixth, Gallen’s pitch count surpassed 100. He stayed in the game after a mound visit to finish the inning, but instead of getting out of the jam he gave up a two-RBI single to Solano that ended his night.
“I felt like he was deserving to get back in the dugout down one run,” Lovullo said on Gallen’s pitch count.
“I’ve been really careful with these guys and haven’t built up a lot of mileage on them. I’ve clipped them early at times, and I feel like there’s times where because I have done that I’d be able to give them a little extra space. And today was one of those days.”
Gallen had a good day despite the lack of run support. In 5.2 innings, he gave up four hits and three earned runs. He struck out six and issued three walks, throwing 109 pitches.
“I felt like I had pretty decent stuff. They were just taking some good pitches I thought,” Gallen said on his outing.
“They were just a little bit more patient, not willing to swing at those 0-2, 1-2 pitches. Then the counts just got deeper and the pitch count just went up a little bit.”
The D-backs couldn’t do much to pick him up at the plate against Gausman. The 30-year old righty held Arizona to just two hits until the sixth inning, when they were finally able to plate a run on an RBI single by first baseman Asdrubal Cabrera that scored pinch hitter David Peralta.
Shortstop Nick Ahmed had the team’s only extra base hit of the night with a harmless double in the fifth.
With the game still in reach, D-backs reliever Jake Faria came on in the seventh and was able to register a fly out and two strikeouts, but Giants first baseman LaMonte Wade Jr. reached base on a wild pitch that would have been the final out.
Instead, the extended inning became a nightmare for the D-backs. After a walk put two on, catcher Buster Posey brought in Wade with an RBI double. Then everyone came home on a three-run dinger by left fielder Alex Dickerson.
The Giants scored four runs on three hits and a walk after the wild pitch.
“The wheels came off a little bit,” Lovullo added on seventh inning. “Unfortunately, we didn’t get down and smother that ball and collect the out at first base. It’s a collective responsibility by the entire team to go out and execute at a high level. To pick one another up and get out of that inning.”
“Unfortunately, we didn’t do it.”
Arizona is 8-7 in their last 15 games.
The D-backs will try to split this four-game series with the Giants in the finale on Thursday. Merrill Kelly will start for the D-backs with first pitch scheduled for 12:40 p.m.
Kelly is 7-8 this season with a 4.38 ERA in 129.1 innings pitched. But he is dialed in lately, going 5-1 with a 2.82 ERA in his last eight starts.