Gallen's stingy career start sets MLB record

Right-hander's gem ends D-backs' 8-game losing streak

August 29th, 2020

The D-backs have been maddingly inconsistent in all phases of their game in 2020.

The same cannot be said of , whose consistency has become record-breaking. The right-hander takes the ball every fifth day and pitches well, and so far in his young career, you can bank on the fact that he will not give up more than three earned runs.

On Friday night, it was more of the same as Gallen tossed seven innings of one-run ball in a 7-4 win over the Giants at Chase Field, allowing five hits and one walk while striking out five to help end the D-backs' eight-game losing streak.

It was the 22nd start of Gallen’s career, and he has yet to give up more than three earned runs in any of them, breaking the Major League record to begin a career, which was previously set by Boston’s Aaron Sele in 21 starts from 1993-94.

“That’s a really, really impressive stat,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “I stopped to congratulate him just now to let him know it’s an amazing accomplishment. We want that string to continue, and I think it will. I think he’s in a very good spot.”

Over his 22 starts, Gallen has had three with no runs allowed, seven with one run, eight with two runs and four with three runs.

“I’ve been thinking about it since the season [started],” Gallen said. “I was looking at the schedule thinking, ‘If I get the record, I’ll earn it. There are some tough lineups in there.’ I just kind of tasted it, I was like, 'All right, I’m within reach of getting it.' It’s pretty cool. It’s one of those records you don’t have to think about too much, you can just go out and do your job, keep us in the game and it works out. I’m grateful.”

The 25-year-old Gallen had to do a little digging to find out who held the record before him. He jumped on one night and looked up the career of Montreal’s Steve Rogers, who previously held the National League record of 18, and looked up Sele.

The one thing that was different Friday than Gallen's previous six starts this year was that he earned a win. Starling Marte and Christian Walker each had two RBIs in support as Arizona used a four-run fifth inning to build a 7-0 lead.

The D-backs had won four of Gallen's previous six starts, but he had taken a no-decision in every outing. He joined former Brewers right-hander Cal Eldred as the only two pitchers to have an ERA of 2.25 or lower through their first six starts of a season and not record a decision. Eldred had his run of bad luck in 1998, when he had a 1.67 ERA through six outings, while Gallen entered Friday with a 2.25 mark.

“I joked in the postgame handshake line [that] you would have thought a win had cooties on it,” Gallen said. “It’s nice. But at the same time, I saw some stat, I think we had won four of the games that I had pitched. For me, the decisions don’t matter as long as we have the most runs at the end of the game. That’s fine by me. It’s nice to finally get one, and hopefully a few more are coming this way.”

That’s a sentiment shared by Gallen's teammates, who finally got to smile while celebrating their first win in 10 days.

“You guys have seen me up here for the past eight games, and it’s been tough,” Lovullo said. “It’s been tough to talk about some of the losses that took place and just continuing to believe that something good would happen. And it did today.”