D-backs’ Zac Gallen faces Rockies, looks to continue scoreless streak
The Arizona Diamondbacks have had some great pitchers in their 25-year history — Randy Johnson, Curt Schilling, Max Scherzer and Zack Greinke, to name a few.
But none of them has done what right-hander Zac Gallen is doing this season.
Gallen (11-2, 2.42 ERA) has not allowed a run in 41 1/3 consecutive innings, a scoreless streak that is creeping into Orel Hershiser territory.
Gallen needs two outs to tie Brandon Webb for the longest scoreless streak in franchise history. He will get the chance when the Diamondbacks (65-73) face the Colorado Rockies(61-79) on Sunday afternoon.
Colorado will send right-hander Ryan Feltner (2-7, 5.85) to the mound to wrap up the weekend series.
Feltner will make just his second career start against Arizona. In his only outing against the Diamondbacks, he is 0-1 with a 10.38 ERA.
If Gallen gets through the first inning, he will surpass Webb, and if he can match what he has averaged over his last six starts — six scoreless innings — he can move past Bob Gibson into third place on the list of all-time scoreless innings.
He currently sits eighth, with Hershiser on top of the list with 59 innings.
Hershiser’s streak for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1988 put him past former Dodger great Don Drysdale by one inning.
Gallen, whose longest outing in his career is 7 1/3 innings, admires what Hershiser accomplished, which included an impressive run to a World Series title that year.
“The game of baseball has changed. Even the efficiency that he had done it in — I think 112 pitches is the most he threw — I don’t know if teams now are letting you see a lineup four times,” Gallen said. “He probably had to get to the top of the order four times. That’s what makes it all the more impressive, on top of the last one threw was 10 innings, and then he went to the NLCS and threw another 8 1/3 scoreless.”
Hershiser didn’t have to pitch at Coors Field, where Gallen will Sunday.
Gallen is 4-1 with a 2.49 ERA in 11 career starts against the Rockies. Five of those outings have come in Denver, where he is 1-0 with a 2.03 ERA.
Gallen will have a tough challenge against a suddenly resurgent Colorado offense. The Rockies have 35 runs in their current four-game winning streak and have 13 home runs in that span. C.J. Cron has two, including a three-run shot Saturday night that gave Colorado the lead in a 4-1 win.
It wasn’t as impressive as his 504-foot blast that left the ballpark on Friday night, the longest in the majors this season.
“We haven’t had the best season, but we really want to be a good offensive team, especially playing in this ballpark,” Cron said after Saturday night’s win. “We want to hit for power, and we want to hit for extra base hits. We didn’t quite have it this year, but this month we’ve picked it up quite a bit — the ball’s starting to fly a little bit.”
–Field Level Media