Tonight we had Zac Gallen’s first start without a discount from the moment he returned from his last stage at IL. According to tonight’s preview, Torey Lovullo and company have decided that Gallen’s resistance is full again and they want to get him as many jobs as possible by the end of the season. Which is great. He faced off tonight with Spencer Howard, a Rangers driver, who started the game in Texas but was extremely limited due to his recent return from the IL covida.
Things went pretty well for Zac during the first three innings as he faced the minimum plus one and established Texas with no throws and no hits, needing only 36 pitches to do so. The only imperfection was a single ground player that Josh VanMeter, who was playing third base tonight, exploded by mistake. But no harm was done.
Unfortunately, Spencer Howard withdrew the Diamondbacks in order through his two working innings, allowing no base runners and throwing few throws than Gallen. He gave in, however, at the end of the third, to right-back Jordan Lyles, who I think was originally written as a Rangers starter. Daulton Varsho, playing on the right field (?!) Tonight, received him with a single from the right front and almost immediately stole the second. Nick Ahmed, batting eighth as usual against a right-handed starter, drew a walk, getting the pitcher’s place. Gallen did his job admirably, setting up a perfect sacrifice bag for the image that allowed the two runners to advance one base. This turned upside down and Josh Rojas flew to the left on a free kick, but the ball was taken away enough to allow Varsho to score and score from third:
Ketel Mars walked after, but VanMeter fell to the ground in the second to reduce the brief onset of the offense. Still, we would have at least drawn the first blood. 1-0 D-BACK
To the dismay of many of us on the Gameday Thread, Gonzo was at the booth with Steve on Bally’s show and as he reached the top of the room, he was grumbling incessantly about the essentials that Gallen would come out and throw. . a “stop entry,” now that the crime had given him a very meager advantage. Alas, that did not happen. I don’t mean to imply that Gonzo was cheating things, but … well, who’s to say?
Anyways. Gallen, just in his second half by order of the Rangers, ceded a simple lead to Rangers pitcher Yonny Hernandez, who stole second in the third attack of the next Rangers AB. Gallen performed two more singles, back to back, to Rangers right-hander DJ Peters and Rangers second baseman Nick Solak. Peters’ single marked Hernandez, and then another, another marked Peters and Solak. A double followed, but Gallen was finally able to pull off Lyles, the pitcher, to end the pain. But an inning closure definitely wasn’t. 3-1 Texas
And, sad to say, it was almost all of that, at least in terms of action. Pavin Smith hit a triple of two that bounced off the wall in the center of the right at the bottom of the fourth, and then hit a single to the left in the seventh, but they were the only two hits (or baserunners) of the Diamondbacks. he managed the rest of the way.
Gallen, on the other hand, corrected the boat after his nasty and expensive fourth inning, retiring the top six hitters from the Texas lineup in order in fifth and sixth place, and pitched in seventh. In fact, he deepened quite a bit and recorded the first two outings around a Nick Ahmed pitching error, before delivering a single right to Texas top striker and center fielder Leody Taveras, who eventually it was worth it. His finish line wasn’t great, but in the end it wasn’t that bad: 62⁄3 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB and 8 K with 108 launches. Sure, this isn’t vintage Gallen, but it’s good enough to keep us going, minimize the need to use our terrible bullpen, and give us a chance to fight. He gave up the races that decided it, but in my opinion, that loss doesn’t go over him; it is an offense, pure and simple.
For us, Caleb Smith recorded the final at the top of the seventh and withdrew the heart of the Rangers formation in order to the eighth, in what will probably be our last sighting of Caleb Smith before embarking on a 10- required by the league. an unpaid vacation (his appeals hearing on sticky substances was today), and then Noah Ramirez threw a clean top of the ninth, which was nice. As noted above, however, the offense does NOTHING in support of the team, and that 3-1 result ended up being the end.
A happy note: the match was fast, with only 2 hours and 46 minutes elapsed between the first pitch and the final start. So at least it was nice. I was tired when I got home from work, and now I’m even more tired, and it looks like I’m going to go to bed before midnight now. Thanks, Diamondbacks!
Probability of winning added, courtesy of FanGraphs
F-16: Pavin Smith (2-3, 1 3B, + 6.6% WPA)
A-10 Warthog: Josh VanMeter (0-4, 1 E, -12.3% WPA)
Tonight was an understandably sparse Gameday Thread (at least considering what I got used to on Tuesdays), especially considering the bleak offensive performance and the consequent lack of drama or excitement. Eighteen brave souls provided 182 comments. DC and Nik led the way with 51 and 29 respectively. All present and explained were: AzDbackfanInDc, Dano_in_Tucson, Diamondhacks, GuruB, Jack Sommers, Jim McLennan, Makakilo, Michael McDermott, MrMrrbi, NikT77, Oldenschoole, Schilling2001, Smurf-1000, Snacks & Dbacks, Snake_Bitten_
Despite this, we’ve had three different comments about Sedona Red, and while Jack has the highest number of comments (7), I think I go with Nik (6), as he was by far the most directly relevant to this game in particular and how it went, rather than a broader but timely observation about things that could be much more appealing than watching bad baseball in a hotel room. Here is the game comment:
Anyway, feel free to join us tomorrow to see if we can save a split in this small two-game series against the Rangers. Texas right-back Kohei Arihara faces Luke Weaver, who was recently healthy and may have resurfaced. This is a getaway day game, so the first release is scheduled for 3:40 pm AZ time. To be there or to be ….. square? Sanitized? Sensitive? Not the masochist? I will let you choose and adopt your own adjective …. I am not here to judge.
As always, thanks for reading. As always, go D-Backs. Cheers.