Gallen sets record; Escobar, Ginkel scuffling

August 12th, 2020

It was almost as if there were two separate games between the D-backs and Rockies on Tuesday night at Coors Field.

There was a pitchers’ duel for seven innings that resulted in both clubs scoring just two runs each.

And then there was a bottom of the eighth and top of the ninth innings when the two teams combined to score 11 runs with the Rockies eventually prevailing, 8-7.

Here’s a look at three key takeaways from the game:

1) The D-backs really have something in Gallen
Once again, pitched well for the D-backs, who acquired him from the Marlins just prior to last year’s Trade Deadline.

Gallen allowed just two runs on seven hits while striking out seven and not issuing a walk over seven innings.

In his first 19 career big league games -- all of them starts -- Gallen has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of them, surpassing Montreal’s Steve Rogers for the National League record. Rogers set the mark in 1973-74.

The Major League record belongs to Aaron Sele, who started out his career with 21 such starts for the Red Sox in 1993-94.

“The first seven innings were pristine and awesome to watch from our standpoint with Zac attacking hitters,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “Gave us seven unbelievable innings.”

Both of the runs allowed by Gallen came on a two-run homer by Nolan Arenado in the fourth.

“I was warming up before the game and kind of felt off, so I wasn’t really sure how tonight was going to go,” said Gallen, who lowered his ERA to 2.74. “I just went out there in the first inning and said, ‘OK let’s see if I can get in the strike zone.’”

2) The D-backs need to get Escobar going offensively
The offense did score seven runs and get 13 hits, but it failed to capitalize on scoring opportunities throughout the game that could have given Gallen a lead to work with.

-- off to a slow start at the plate this year -- flied out to end the first inning with the bases loaded, lined out to end the sixth with a runner on third, and struck out to end the eighth with a pair of runners on.

Overall, the D-backs stranded six runners in scoring position on the night.

Last season, Escobar hit 35 homers, drove in 118 runs and was a key cog in their lineup. This year, he’s hitting .169 with two extra-base hits in 65 at-bats.

“He’s a really dynamic guy, we know what he can do, he had [118] RBIs last year, he’s a run producer and knows how to do just about anything in any area of the plate,” Lovullo said. “We know that, and we need him. He has some things that he needs to work through. I think if I assess what’s going on: He’s rushing to the baseball and not allowing himself to stay back and see where the baseball is landing, and as a result, he’s coming out of the zone a little bit.”

3) Ginkel may get a break from high-leverage situations
was one of the team’s best relievers after coming up from Triple-A Reno last August, but he has struggled early this year, and Tuesday was another example.

With the game tied at 2, Lovullo brought Ginkel in for the eighth, and he allowed a triple, a single and a double before issuing an intentional walk and being removed from the game.

Alex Young and Jeremy Beasley also gave up runs in the inning as the Rockies scored six times. Four of the runs were charged to Ginkel, who saw his ERA rise to 16.20. In five innings over seven appearances, he has been scored upon three times, allowed 11 hits and walked five (two intentionally).

“It’s a very valid question,” Lovullo said about backing off Ginkel to allow him time to work on some things. “It’s something that I’ll look into through the course of the night and on into tomorrow. I thought those matchups were perfect for him. Everything showed up as being a good spot for him to get into the ballgame and execute, and it just didn’t happen. I know he’s working extremely hard, the velocity is there, but he is just making mistakes in the middle of the plate. That’s something you really can’t do at this level.”