ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Diamondbacks’ Zac Gallen blanks Yankees, spoils their unbeaten start

Apr 2, 2024, 11:44 PM | Updated: Apr 3, 2024, 12:13 pm

Zac Gallen...

Zac Gallen of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitching against the New York Yankees at Chase Field. (Arizona Sports Photo/Felisa Cardenas)

(Arizona Sports Photo/Felisa Cardenas)

PHOENIX — Arizona Diamondbacks ace Zac Gallen was fired up coming off the field after his sixth shutout inning against the New York Yankees at Chase Field on Tuesday.

Gallen made an athletic play off the mound, delivering a strike to first base to end a gem outing in Arizona’s 7-0 victory over the previously undefeated Yankees.

D-backs (4-2) manager Torey Lovullo’s postgame statement started with, “This was all about Zac Gallen,” who is up to 11 innings and one earned run this season.

“Those are the types of games I expect us to play, but it was all set up by Zac,” Lovullo said. “He just was pounding the zone, looked like he had command of more than one pitch and could get to anything at any time … He and (Gabriel Moreno) got into a really good rhythm.”

Lovullo said assistant pitching coach Dan Carlson called Gallen’s warm ups “electric,” although the right-hander didn’t put much stock in that.

His first inning started shaky with two walks to the first three batters, but he made pitches to get a couple balls on the ground. Gallen stranded two runners aboard in the second by punching out New York catcher Jose Trevino on a devastating knuckle curveball, and from there Gallen didn’t run into many problems.

The Yankees mustered one hit and one walk the rest of the night, as a Juan Soto single and Anthony Rizzo groundout were the only balls hit over 93 mph through the end of the game.

Gallen punched out six Yankees, four looking.

“Gabi called pretty much 90% of the game, so a lot of that was Gabi having a really good feel for spots with two strikes,” Gallen said. “Maybe they felt like they were getting a breaking ball and they were gonna take. We stuck fastballs in certain spots. You always have to execute. Rarely can you just throw a fastball down the middle with two strikes and get a take, so a combination of both.”

Gallen was up to 41 pitches through two, but got through the next four frames with 55. He explained a mental adjustment after the early turbulence.

“Everyone’s pretty much on line, I got to think more crossbody, so I just changed my direction to be a little bit more towards the batter’s box as opposed to home plate,” Gallen said. “I think it’s more mental because I’m just telling myself about it. I bet the physical change is probably very small.”

Gallen jumped into a tie for second in D-backs history with 23 starts of six-plus innings and no earned runs. Brandon Webb also had 23 such outings, while Randy Johnson leads with 36.

First baseman Christian Walker gave Gallen credit for halting New York’s momentum. That was a 5-0 club that scored five runs in the opening three innings against the D-backs on Monday. New York’s top six batters — Gleyber Torres, Soto, Aaron Judge, Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton and Alex Verdugo — were 1-for-20 combined Tuesday.

Gallen’s final play was especially satisfying to stick it to his manager. After the game, he mentioned a pitchers only lineup Lovullo devised after being asked about it while players were shooting the breeze during batting practice.

Lovullo had Gallen at second base, opting for McGough at shortstop.

“I’ll be in his office tomorrow, knocking on his door going, ‘You gonna change that lineup or what?'” Gallen said. “It’s all fun, that’s what makes our clubhouse great. You have conversations like that with the manager and you can joke around and keep it light.”

Lovullo said postgame Gallen showed off infielder’s instincts.

Arizona’s bullpen continued its stellar start to the season with three scoreless innings to follow Gallen. Scott McGough, Ryan Thompson and Bryce Jarvis each went 1-2-3.

The bats gave Gallen early run support, as they did on Opening Day in a 16-1 win over the Rockies.

Singles by Blaze Alexander, Eugenio Suarez and Moreno each drove in a run during the first inning against lefty Nestor Cortes, as the Diamondbacks have scored multiple first-inning runs in five of six games.

From there the D-backs nearly broke the game open over and over but struggled to get the knockout, and a couple mishaps that still need ironing out contributed.

The loudest was in the first inning when Jorge Barrosa attempted a push bunt with runners on the corners that led to an unorthodox double play after he was caught off first base:

The Diamondbacks’ death blow came in the seventh inning on a mammoth three-run home run for Christian Walker off Jake Cousins, 424 feet to left.

Walker got his hands around a 96 mph sinker up and in for his third long ball in six games.

Five Diamondbacks had multiple knocks on Tuesday, as Arizona out-hit New York 12-3 after only coming up with four on Monday.

 

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Tuesday’s announced attendance was 39,863.

The homestand wraps up Wednesday with Merrill Kelly starting for Arizona and southpaw Carlos Rodon for New York.

First pitch is at 12:40 p.m on 98.7 and the Arizona Sports app. 

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