The host Arizona Diamondbacks, who have won two straight games following an 0-6 road trip, will send right-hander Zac Gallen to the mound to face the slumping Miami Marlins on Wednesday night.
Halfway through this four-game series in Phoenix, the Diamondbacks have outscored the Marlins, 16-5. That’s kind of amazing considering Arizona scored a total of just 12 runs during a six-game road trip it would rather forget.
Meanwhile, the Marlins have lost a four straight games for the second time this season.
“I think our guys are frustrated,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said following Tuesday’s 11-3 loss. “We’ve struggled on the road this year (7-11). We’ve been stagnant with the bats other than late flurries.”
The Marlins have not announced their starting pitcher for Wednesday, meaning it will be yet another “bullpen game.”
Unfortunately for the Marlins, their relievers covered 3 2/3 innings on Tuesday.
“You saw what happened tonight,” Mattingly said. “We’re not in as good a shape as we’d like, but we’ll get through the game.”
Even in defeat on Tuesday, a positive for Miami was the play of first baseman Jesus Aguilar, who went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and a pair of doubles.
“He’s swinging the bat good,” Mattingly said of Aguilar, who leads Miami with eight homers an 29 RBIs. “Like all good hitters, once they get that feel, they take off from there.”
Meanwhile, Wednesday will mark the first time Gallen (1-1, 3.04 ERA) faces the team that allowed him to make his major league debut on June 20, 2019.
In December 2017, the Marlins acquired Gallen as well as current Miami ace Sandy Alcantara as part of the trade that sent outfielder Marcell Ozuna to the St. Louis Cardinals.
However, Gallen pitched just seven games for the Marlins — going 1-3 with a 2.72 ERA — before Miami traded him to Arizona for Jazz Chisholm.
In 25 starts with Arizona, Gallen has been outstanding in terms of his ERA (2.85) even though his run support has led to a 6-6 record.
Chisholm, by the way, has developed into an outstanding rookie second baseman this year. Currently on the injured list, Chisholm is tied with Aguilar for the team lead in OPS (.926) and Chisolm leads the team in stolen bases (7-for-7).
Mattingly hinted Chisholm, who has begun a rehab assignment at Triple-A Jacksonville, could return quickly.
“We just want to establish health,” Mattingly said of Chisholm’s formerly injured hamstring. “We want to make sure he’s going to hold up after playing a couple of days.”
Gallen, who has quality starts in two of his five appearances this year, opened the season on the injured list after he suffered a hairline fracture to his right forearm.
Injured while taking swings in batting practice, Gallen has been told to take it easy while hitting.
“They’d like me to swing as minimally as possible,” Gallen said. “But if there are runners in scoring position, I need to have a normal at-bat.”
The Diamondbacks are hoping they will have plenty of offense even without hard swings from Gallen, and that was certainly the case on Tuesday as Asdrubal Cabrera went 4-for-5 with a three-run homer and a double, which was a few feet shy of clearing the fence.
Nick Ahmed, who started this season in a 3-for-41 slump (.073), hit his first homer of the season on Tuesday and raised his batting average over .200. He also drew two walks in a five-run fifth inning and scored twice.
–Field Level Media