Gallen continues to make strong first impression

Acquired at Trade Deadline, right-hander allows 2 runs over 5 innings

August 25th, 2019

MILWAUKEE -- continues to show why the D-backs are so high on him as a mainstay in their rotation.

In Arizona's 4-0 loss on Saturday night to the Brewers, Gallen allowed two runs on six hits and two walks over five innings, striking out eight. The 24-year-old got back to what's made him successful since being acquired at the Trade Deadline from the Marlins.

“Once again, he made some pitches when he had to, to get out of some situations,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “You look at the full body of work; it was two runs over five innings. He did his job.”

The loss, the D-backs' third straight, drops them to 5 1/2 games back of the Cubs in the race for the second National League Wild Card spot.

The Brewers’ game plan of working the count was successful against Merrill Kelly during Friday's 6-1 loss, and while it didn’t show up on the scoreboard, it took its toll on Gallen, as well. He threw 104 pitches (66 strikes) against Milwaukee, which limited how deep he could pitch into the game.

“I feel like I had a couple of long at-bats,” Gallen said. "Next thing you know, they’ve run your pitch count up. You’re up there near 100 in five innings instead of maybe getting an extra inning.”

Gallen tiptoed around early damage. He twice struck out Keston Hiura with runners at first and third base, ending the first and third innings. In the fourth, though, Gallen threw the only two pitches of his start that he paid for. Eric Thames and Trent Grisham led off the frame with home runs, which were enough to hand him the loss.

“I thought there were some flimsy moments,” Lovullo said. “I think the one inning, it slipped away from him. I think some mistakes over the heart of the plate.”

“I felt like I made some pitches in some spots where you put a little bit more pressure on yourself,” Gallen said. “Just something you have to grind through.”

Gallen ended his outing with a 1-2-3 fifth inning, which included strikeouts of Hiura and Thames. He has now allowed three runs or fewer in all 11 of his Major League starts and has a 2.25 ERA in four starts with Arizona.

After walking a career-high six in his last start -- in which he managed to allow just one run -- Gallen spoke about how he failed to make a quick adjustment before things started to unravel. The command of his fastball was a point of emphasis in his start on Saturday.

“I thought the fastball command was a little bit better today, but there were other pitches that I missed,” Gallen said. “Some offspeed pitches that put me in a couple of counts where I had to be a little bit finer. I think I had a better feel for the fastball command than I did a few days ago.”

The heater was the pitch he trusted most against the Brewers, throwing it 61 times and getting 40 strikes.

Arizona's young right-hander is becoming a quick study, as while he wasn’t his sharpest against Milwaukee, he was still able to miss bats and induce soft contact against a potent offense. All are good signs of a starter learning from start to start, which is music to the organization’s ears.

“I thought there were some improvements today, and he got better later,” Lovullo said. “He started to make some pitches duplicate some sequences and get some big outs.”