Gallen finds positives beyond the stats

August 12th, 2021

SAN FRANCISCO -- ’s final pitching line on Tuesday -- five runs across six innings – isn't going to make his personal highlight reel. Strictly from the perspective of run prevention, Gallen’s evening was subpar by his standards. Under the hood, however, Gallen pitched -- and has been pitching -- much better than his surface numbers indicate.

“It’s one of those tricky ones,” Gallen said when asked how he’d evaluate the start.

Gallen’s first inning was a disaster. The right-hander allowed four runs on four hits (three doubles), immediately putting Arizona behind the eight ball.

From there, however, Gallen cruised. From the second inning onward, Gallen allowed three baserunners. The only run that Gallen allowed after the first inning came on a home run by Buster Posey that barely cleared the center-field fence, and even that pitch -- a low changeup that was out of the strike zone -- was executed well.

"Zac makes adjustments on the fly better than anybody I’ve ever coached, or maybe even played with,” said pitching coach Matt Herges.

Gallen’s peripherals support the case that he had a strong evening. For one, Gallen had seven strikeouts to one walk. To dive even deeper into the numbers, Gallen had 34 called strikes-and-whiffs with a called-strikes-and-whiffs rate of 34 percent. Including Tuesday, Gallen has only had six starts in which he’s touched both marks in a single start. Gallen has had far better outings in which his surface stats matched the underlying ones, but overall, it was another fine outing as Gallen tries to find his groove.

“It was five innings of good pitching and one inning of a couple mistakes. They had a game plan coming in, they executed it well. My job is to keep us in the game as long as possible, get as deep in the game as possible. In that sense, that’s what I tried to do. Granted, it is still five runs, but to answer back, I can build off that.”

In Gallen’s last three starts, he has a 5.09 ERA (10 runs in 17 2/3 innings), but 3.85 FIP and 3.65 xFIP. He’s once again consistently flashing an ability to strike out batters (21) and limit walks (five) and home runs (three).

Madison Bumgarner makes return to San Francisco

Three rings. Four All-Star appearances. Two Silver Sluggers. And arguably the most dominant World Series performance of all-time. Yeah, the people of San Francisco still love No. 40.

Madison Bumgarner made his first return to San Francisco with fans in attendance on Tuesday and prior to the second inning, he received a hero’s welcome. Prior to the second inning, Giants’ PA announcer Renel Brooks-Moon introduced the man who needs no introduction and the video board cut to a live shot of Bumgarner.

With “Fire on the Mountain” by the Marshall Tucker Band, Bumgarner’s intro song when he was with the Giants, playing in the background, the cheers only grew louder when Bumgarner hopped over the dugout railing, put his hand on his heart and tipped his cap to the home crowd.

“It’s a special place to me,” Bumgarner said to prior to the series. “I played there for a long time and did some pretty cool things there, so I’m excited to go back. Last year I played there, but there were no fans and it was cool to be back there, but a little bit strange at the same time without fans.”