Arizona Diamondbacks’ Zac Gallen Faces High Stakes in World Series Game 5
Arizona ace Zac Gallen prepares for a crucial Game 5 against the Texas Rangers
PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks find themselves on the brink of elimination after a devastating loss to the Texas Rangers in Game 4 of the World Series. As they head into Game 5, all eyes will be on their ace, Zac Gallen, as he faces the daunting task of cooling off the explosive Rangers lineup and keeping the Diamondbacks’ storybook run alive.
Gallen, who was acquired by the Diamondbacks in a 2019 trade, quickly established himself as one of the game’s emerging aces. He received Cy Young votes in 2020 and 2022 and has been a key figure in the team’s success. Now, he shoulders the responsibility of keeping the 2023 Snakes alive in the World Series.
Despite his undeniable talent, Gallen has struggled in the playoffs. While he has managed to pitch at least five innings in all five postseason starts, his October ERA stands at 5.27, with at least two runs surrendered in each outing. Manager Torey Lovullo acknowledges that Gallen is human and will have both good and bad moments on the mound.
Gallen’s strikeout percentage has dropped from 26% in the regular season to 15.3% in the playoffs, and his walk rate has nearly doubled. He has also allowed five home runs off his signature four-seam fastball, compared to just seven in the regular season. The wear and tear of his high innings total throughout the season may be contributing to his unsteady performance in October, according to Diamondbacks pitching coach Brent Strom.
Despite recent losses, Gallen remains optimistic. In Game 1 of the World Series, he left with a lead and a positive outlook, having found a groove in the later innings. He continues to work on his craft, maintaining his routine and striving to improve with each start.
Teammates, like veteran first baseman Christian Walker, have full confidence in Gallen’s abilities. Walker expressed his unwavering faith in Gallen, stating that he would bet on him any day.
As Gallen takes the mound for Game 5, he recognizes the challenge ahead and embraces the opportunity to make big pitches deep into October. He views this as the first of many seasons in which he will need to handle a heavy workload and rise to the occasion.
The Diamondbacks’ hopes now rest on Gallen’s shoulders as he faces the explosive Rangers lineup in a win-or-go-home Game 5. The outcome of this game will determine whether the Diamondbacks’ storybook run continues or comes to an end.
(Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)