Zac Gallen’s 1st 9-inning complete game shuts out Cubs in D-backs win
Sep 8, 2023, 1:43 PM | Updated: 3:30 pm
In terms of meaningful events during Friday afternoon’s Arizona Diamondbacks contest against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, those came few and far between, and a lot of that was due to Arizona ace Zac Gallen.
Gallen pitched the first nine-inning complete game of his career in a huge 1-0 D-backs win. Earlier in his career, Gallen tossed a seven-inning complete game in the second fixture of a doubleheader. On Friday, he gave up three hits and a walk, striking out nine across the shutout.
It is Arizona’s second straight win in Chicago to start the series, as the D-backs continue to give themselves a chance to compete for another wild card spot by bringing the second-place Cubs back into the picture. Arizona enters the afternoon’s action a game up on the Miami Marlins and Cincinnati Reds for the third position, while now just two games back of Chicago.
The D-backs have two more games left in the road series before a four-game pit stop in New York against the Mets that slightly pauses the action between the two squads. It resumes after that, beginning on Friday the 15th for three games at Chase Field.
Gallen’s work was exquisite and efficient, keeping his pitch count at just 94 through eight innings. That allowed D-backs manager Torey Lovullo to let Gallen work the ninth inning for the first time in his career with a 1-0 lead.
After recording one out, Gallen issued a walk, generating wonder if a warmed-up Paul Sewald would enter the game. But by the time that conversation got going, Chicago’s Nico Hoerner flew out and Ian Happ grounded out to end the game.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr.’s single to lead off the top of the eighth inning was just the D-backs’ second hit of the day. Gabriel Moreno walked to then put two runners on with no outs before back-to-back strikeouts for Jordan Lawlar and Geraldo Perdomo.
But then Arizona’s MVP this season Corbin Carroll hit an RBI single into right field that was initially ruled an out on a ball that was not caught by Chicago’s Seiya Suzuki.
Diamondbacks break through in the eighth after replay showed that Seiya Suzuki trapped this ball hit by Corbin Carroll pic.twitter.com/viiH6PLWfC
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) September 8, 2023
A video review revealed the ball bounced on the grass before going in his glove, and since Gurriel was running on two outs, the umpires were able to rule he would have scored and awarded the D-backs the run.
Carroll reached base three times total in the game, and he followed up an earlier walk and single with a stolen base. Those were the only two times Arizona had a runner in scoring position prior to the eighth inning. Carroll also stole a base after his single in the eighth, giving him three on the day and 45 for the season.
Arizona could not figure out Chicago starter Jameson Taillon, who sacrificed just a hit and walk in six scoreless innings. He struck out nine but was bizarrely pulled after tossing just 77 pitches.