D-backs’ Zac Gallen freezes Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman to end 5th

Oct 9, 2023, 8:20 PM | Updated: 11:31 pm

Zac Gallen said before his Arizona Diamondbacks faced the Los Angeles Dodgers that one should remain at their residence if they were fearful of facing the NL West behemoths.

He did not stay home and apparently is not afraid.

The starter’s final line in Game 2 of the NLDS was 5.1 innings with five hits, two earned runs, two walks and four strikeouts. The D-backs won 4-2, going up 2-0 in the best-of-five series on the Dodgers.

Gallen’s best highlight came in the fifth inning Monday at Dodger Stadium.

Runners for Los Angeles were on the corners, and Freddie Freeman had a full count. Gallen’s fourth and fifth pitches were both knuckle-curves that fell off well below the strike zone, so what did the D-backs ace do with his sixth toss to Freeman?

He threw that same mid-80s mph knuckle curve right down the middle on his 75th pitch of the evening.

It was very un-scared behavior from the pitcher who left the mound screaming having left those two runners on base as Arizona held its 3-1 lead.

To a baseball player’s eye, though, there’s good reason Freeman stayed off the knuckle curve from Gallen.

The Diamondbacks had pounded Dodgers starting pitcher Bobby Miller in the first inning for three runs, and Gallen’s only miscue was against former D-backs slugger J.D. Martinez, who hit a solo shot in the fourth frame.

Arizona however, would respond to that homer and Gallen’s fired-up exit to the fifth inning, with Lourdes Gurriel Jr. slamming his own solo home run in the top of the fifth frame to give the Diamondbacks a 4-1 lead.

Dodgers Max Muncy and Martinez got on base with an out in the sixth inning, however, and that would be the end of Gallen’s night.

Los Angeles scored one run, making it 4-2, but left the bases loaded after Andrew Saalfrank and Ryan Thompson took the ball from Gallen to end the sixth inning.

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