Zac Gallen Aims For Another Quality Start as D-backs Seek to Beat Tigers

The Ace is pitching tonight as Arizona looks to get back to winning on Saturday night against Jack Flaherty and the Tigers.
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zac Gallen (23) follows through on a delivery in the first inning of a
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zac Gallen (23) follows through on a delivery in the first inning of a / Kareem Elgazzar/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

The Arizona Diamondbacks and Detroit Tigers play Saturday night at Chase Field. First pitch is at 5:10 P.M.

It is game two of three after Detroit won last night. Friday night's game was one that Ryne Nelson, D-backs fans, players, and the organization would like to forget ever happened.

Tonight is a night that the team needs to bounce back and reverse what happened. They went 7-3 over their last 10 prior to last night and will need to win tonight to keep the momentum before they head to L.A.

The Tigers are 22-22, 4-6 over their last ten. They sit 5.5 games back of first in the AL Central and are in fourth place. They are 12-9 on the road and hold a +14 run differential overall.

In interleague play, they are 7-5. They have plenty of former D-backs connections from broadcaster Kirk Gibson to former manager AJ Hinch to players Andrew Chafin, Shelby Miller, and Carson Kelly.

The D-backs are 21-24 and sit eight games back of the Dodgers. They are just one game back of the Padres for the third Wild Card spot. Over their last ten, they are 6-4 and hold a +2 run differential overall. At home this year, they are just 11-12 and need to reverse that trend immediately. Another trend they will have to reverse is against teams over .500. They are just 5-14 against those teams.


Arizona Diamondbacks
The Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks starting lineups / Jake Oliver

The Tigers are trotting out their lineup against right-handed pitching as they face Zac Gallen. Baez is looking to continue from last night when he drove in three runs and had multiple hits. He is hitting .429 off Gallen with a homer and five RBI in seven at-bats. Kerry Carpenter is 3-3 against Gallen. Carpenter has been hot with a .346 average over his last seven games.

Riley Greene may have nine homers on the season and had two hits last night, but it's been tough sledding for him of late as he has hit just .200 over his last seven games. Former ASU star Spencer Torkelson has just two homers on the season. The D-backs will look to continue to limit his slugging ability for the next two days.

Former D-backs catcher Carson Kelly gets the start tonight. He's been on fire his last seven games. He has hit .294 over that span, but on the season is just .215 with a homer and seven RBI.

As for the D-backs, they have sat down Lourdes Gurriel Jr. for a much-needed mental break day. Pavin Smith replaces him in the lineup at right field while Jake McCarthy takes over left field.

Corbin Carroll continues to hit lead off despite having the 7th-worst batting average in the league. Ketel Marte will look to keep his hitting streak going and run it up to 16 games.

Marte has homered in 11 at-bats off of Flaherty and has three RBI. Carroll has homered as well in seven at-bats, while Joc Pederson has two solo homers off him in 14 at-bats. Eugenio Suarez has faced Flaherty 20 times and is hitting .250 with three homers and four RBI.

Starting Pitchers

Jack Flaherty, 0-3, 3.88 ERA, 48.2 innings, is back at Chase Field for another start against the D-backs. Flaherty has been pounding the strike zone and getting a ton of whiffs as he has 63 strikeouts against just six walks.

What has plagued Flaherty are the homers as he has given up seven of them already. Over his last 12.2 innings, Flaherty has given up five runs and 13 hits with 13 strikeouts and one walk.

Flaherty throws a four-seam fastball, slider, knuckle curve, changeup, and sinker. The last three of those pitches have seen plenty of weak contact and whiffs as batters have struggled to make contact against them. His slider is getting 40.2% whiffs but has been slugged well to the tune of .415.

However, the expected stats indicate that the slugging will go down over time due to how good the slider is. His weakest pitch is his fastball. It's generating just 28.5% whiffs and has been hit hard with a .279 batting average and a .465 slug. The expected stats numbers back that up.

Zac Gallen, 5-2, 2.86 ERA, 44 innings, is making another start at Chase Field. The famous stopper who stops any kind of losing streak will look to do it once again for Arizona. Gallen hasn't been as sharp at preventing walks, but has just 14 against 45 strikeouts, showcasing his CY Young potential in plenty of games.

He has just a 1.11 WHIP this year. Over his last 12 innings, he is 2-0 with just two runs given up against five hits, five walks, and 10 strikeouts.

Gallen has been hit for loud contact, but a lot of it has been mostly harmless. His 46.6 hard contact rate is not much higher than last year's. Gallen's knuckle curve has once again been unhittable. Opponents are hitting just .111 against it with an expected slug of .196.

That and his slider have induced whiffs over 40% of the time. His fastball has been the weak link. It's being hit for an average of .259, over 20 points higher than last year with a slug of .481, over 120 points higher than last year. He will have to locate his fastball perfectly to get back to last year's form.

Jake Oliver


Jake Oliver is a Baseball Reporter for Inside the Diamondbacks, part of the Sports Illustrated Network. His passion is statistics along with all things MLB. Jake used to be the site expert for Venom Strikes. Be sure to follow him for Diamondbacks updates, Dbacks breaking news, Star Wars love, and more on Twitter @DarthDbacks.