Zac Gallen goes deep in D-backs’ win over Marlins despite missing his best stuff
May 8, 2023, 11:11 PM | Updated: May 9, 2023, 7:42 am
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX — There’s something different about Arizona Diamondbacks ace Zac Gallen.
In what seemed to be an off night for the right-hander in a 5-2 D-backs win over the Miami Marlins at Chase Field on Monday, Gallen delivered once again with seven innings of one-run ball that included seven strikeouts, only one walk and five hits over 90 pitches (62 strikes).
Zac Gallen's 3Ks in the 5th. pic.twitter.com/hPcFCBJm89
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 9, 2023
So what does that say about the NL Cy Young candidate when he can still dominate despite not feeling or being at his brilliant best?
“Honestly I didn’t have much semblance of an offspeed pitch really,” Gallen said postgame. “It was a lot of fastball tonight. … I didn’t feel particularly great, just had to make pitches.
“Since that third start, (today) was probably the least amount of command [I’ve had] I guess I should say,” he added. “I felt like I was behind in the count a lot, had to make a lot of pitches with two and three balls.”
The 27-year-old threw a first-pitch strike to 18 of the 27 batters he faced, as manager Torey Lovullo pulled him after going through the entire Marlins order a full three times.
To put Gallen’s dominance in perspective, the walk he issued was his first since April 10 (five starts).
And at Chase Field this season, the right-hander has improved his record to 4-0 to go along with 41 strikeouts to just two walks while only allowing one run over 27.1 innings pitched — which included a 24.2 scoreless innings streak.
“I always think he has his best stuff,” Lovullo said postgame. “I have a front-row seat every single day where I’m watching him just execute at a very high level and just drive pitches in the zone. … He was throwing fastballs by some really good fastball hitters.
“So what does it say to me? I think he’s a fibber and he always has good stuff. In my core, that’s what I’m thinking every single time he goes out there.”
Gallen is now 5-1 on the season with a 2.36 ERA and 64 Ks, trailing only Atlanta Braves right-hander Spencer Strider (67) for the most in Major League Baseball.
Speaking of strikeouts, Marlins center fielder Jazz Chisholm Jr. — who was traded for Gallen in 2019 — went 0-for-3 against the D-backs’ ace and is currently 0-for-9 with three Ks in the lifetime matchup.
“I think the biggest thing is that Jazz is a good player,” Gallen said. “He hits at the top of their lineup for a reason and he’s got spots where he can do damage.
“So I think for me there’s just certain points in the game where guys like that, you just try not to let them beat you really.”
Gallen didn’t need much run support to pick up the win, and he got all he needed from first baseman Christian Walker.
The right-handed slugger was 2-for-4 on the night with a double and home run for a pair of RBIs.
#Dbacks CRUSHtian Walker's 459-foot mammoth shot is his second RBI of the game. He has driven in all of Arizona's runs thus far tonight.pic.twitter.com/tPoDKBnfbb https://t.co/FuyrHmpz1K
— Jake Anderson (@jwa1994) May 9, 2023
Walker is now tied with Braves catcher Sean Murphy for the third-most RBIs in the National League at 28, trailing New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso and Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Max Muncy, who both have 29.
The Diamondbacks 1B also has the most RBIs (19) in the NL since April 18 and second-most in MLB in that span behind Texas Rangers outfielder Adolis Garcia (22).
The D-backs host the Marlins on Tuesday at 6:40 p.m. on ESPN 620 AM / 98.7 FM HD-2, the Arizona Sports app and ArizonaSports.com.
Arizona rookie right-hander Brandon Pfaadt (0-0, 13.50 ERA) is scheduled to make his second-ever MLB start against Miami southpaw Jesus Luzardo (2-2, 3.66 ERA).