ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Diamondbacks’ Torey Lovullo: Zac Gallen will not pitch on short rest vs. Phillies

Oct 18, 2023, 3:34 PM

Zac Gallen...

Zac Gallen (Felisa Cardenas/Arizona Sports)

(Felisa Cardenas/Arizona Sports)

PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks ace Zac Gallen will not pitch on short rest during the National League Championship Series, manager Torey Lovullo reiterated on Wednesday.

Lovullo said the same thing before Arizona’s series against the Philadelphia Phillies began, but the question was posed again since the D-backs trail 2-0 without an obvious starter for Game 4.

Gallen started the series opener, throwing 88 pitches in a 5-3 Philadelphia victory at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies tagged Gallen for three runs in the opening two innings, all on solo home runs.

“We had that discussion in the dugout after a couple of early runs, would we clip him early?” Lovullo said. “Zac is such a process-oriented guy, I wouldn’t do him that disservice. I just want to stay with what’s been working really, really well for him.

“He would (go on short rest). I know he would do it if we asked him to, but we’re going to need somebody for Game 5 and 6 if we get to that point.”

Gallen is lined up for Game 5 on normal rest, but the D-backs will need at least one win to get there. Rookie Brandon Pfaadt is their Game 3 starter against Philadelphia’s Ranger Suarez at Chase Field on Thursday.

The plan for Game 4 will depend on how Thursday goes, Lovullo explained.

“We’re talking about that right now,” Lovullo said. “The options are: Do we go with a right-handed length starter? Do we start matching up early from the first batter on? That will depend on how we get through tomorrow’s game.”

The two right-handed starting options are Ryne Nelson and Slade Cecconi, who pitched out of the bullpen in Arizona’s 10-0 loss on Tuesday in Game 2. Nelson tossed 29 pitches, while Cecconi added 14.

Gallen set a career high with 210 innings this season and has made three postseason starts. Lovullo told Arizona Sports’ Burns and Gambo last week he did not want to overextend Gallen or Game 2 starter Merrill Kelly.

Kelly said before the NLCS started, “I think anybody in here would do whatever they need to do to make sure we try to get a W.”

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