D-backs take series over Brewers as righty Zac Gallen keeps scoreless streak alive
PHOENIX — Zac Gallen was close to breaking Brandon Webb’s team record for scoreless innings in a row as the Arizona Diamondbacks (64-69) cruised to a 5-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers (70-63) in front of 20,274 fans at Chase Field.
The D-backs’ ace continued his recent dominance with seven shutout innings, giving up just two hits and walking only one batter. He threw 103 pitches, 63 of which crossed the plate for strikes.
Gallen has now pitched 41.1 scoreless innings in a row and is one scoreless inning away from breaking Webb’s team record of 42. The righty’s streak of scoreless innings now ranks eighth in MLB history.
Arizona right-hander Zac Gallen's scoreless streak has reached 41 1/3 innings after seven more shutout today against Milwaukee. It's the eighth-longest run without a run in baseball history. His ERA on the season is down to 2.42. An incredible stretch that deserves more shine.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) September 4, 2022
On Aug. 8, Gallen’s ERA was 3.31, where it now sits at 2.42. He recorded the win, which now puts his record at 11-2.
“Honestly, the first three innings it was hard for me to get into a groove,” Gallen said. “I just tried to make adjustments in the fourth and just tried to attack and get back in the zone.”
D-backs manager Torey Lovullo discussed the No. 1 starter’s latest gem.
“This was another day for Zac,” Lovullo said. “He goes out there and executes at a very high level and throws up seven more zeros. So, he spoils us. But, it’s because he’s working his butt off. It’s because he’s executing. It’s because of the four, five days in between starts that he is studying, working to make good things happen. It’s not by accident that he’s on this tremendous run.”
As for Gallen coming back out to attempt to break the record in the eighth inning Sunday, he said he was fine with the 103 pitches he threw. Lovullo said there was no chance he was going to put the D-backs’ ace back out there.
D-backs fans will have to wait until Gallen’s next start to see if he can break Webb’s record, which Gallen said he does care about.
“I’m right there so I might as well try and see what the deal is,” Gallen said. “I think I’m only an inning away so I might as well just try.”
Gallen’s great start was backed up by the offensive and defensive play of D-backs right fielder Daulton Varsho.
In the second inning, Brewers center fielder Tyrone Taylor hit a Gallen pitch deep to right center but Varsho was able to sprint what felt like a mile to track the ball down for the out. If not for the fantastic play, the runner on first may have scored and Gallen’s scoreless innings streak could have ended.
“If he’s not the best right fielder defensively in baseball, he’s definitely up there,” Gallen said. “So yeah, he made a great play.”
Varsho delivered at the dish as well Sunday.
With the D-backs leading 1-0 in the third inning, Varsho slammed a pitch to right field for his 20th home run of the season to give the D-backs a 2-0 lead. It was all Arizona ended up needing as the Brewers scored just one run on the night on a Hunter Renfroe solo home run in the ninth.
The D-backs did end up adding some insurance by way of designated hitter Jake McCarthy. In the fifth inning, he hit an RBI-single to put the D-backs up 3-0 and in the eighth, he hit a two-run home run to put Arizona up 5-0.
“It just seems like it’s a collaborative effort here,” McCarthy said. “And there’s confidence when guys like Gallen are on the mound. It’s like there’s not a lot of pressure.”
The D-backs hit the road for their next six games. They begin a three-game set with the Padres in San Diego Monday at 3:40 p.m.
Arizona will go with righty Ryne Nelson, the No. 8 prospect in the D-backs’ organization who will be making his MLB debut. He went 10-5 with a 5.43 ERA in 26 games, all starts, with Triple-A Reno this season. The 24-year-old will square off against Padres lefty Blake Snell (6-7, 3.87 ERA).
The action can be heard on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.