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Zac Gallen

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In some ways, Zac Gallen was everything the Diamondbacks could have hoped for in 2022. He bounced back from an injury-plagued 2021 season with a 12-4 with a 2.54 ERA, a National League-leading 0.91 WHIP and the lowest opponent batting average by a qualified starting pitcher in Diamondbacks history at .185. The man once viewed by scouts as a back-of-the-rotation…...

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Merrill Kelly pitches for the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium.

After his last home start of the year on Sep. 24, Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly had already thrown an impressive 189.2 innings this season. And he was hellbent on reaching 200. “It’s pretty important to me, to be honest with you,” Kelly said. “You guys have heard me talk for four years now on what I pride myself on...

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Diamondbacks pitcher Drey Jameson makes his second career start at Chase Field.

If you have been a baseball fan for any length of time, chances are you have heard this saying before: Hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in sports. There is some truth there. When I showed up at the batting cages for my first — and last — year of high school baseball, my coaches set the...

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Zac Gallen pitches at Chase Field for the Diamondbacks.

Two months ago, calling Zac Gallen an NL Cy Young Award candidate would have been like calling the Diamondbacks a Wild Card contender earlier this week. Fun to dream about, but out of touch with reality.

After struggling to the tune of a 7.31 ERA in three starts from late June to early July, Gallen had a 3.62 ERA on the season. That is more than respectable, but it wasn't the type of performance that would warrant Cy Young votes — or All-Star votes, for that matter.

When reflecting on Gallen’s first half, pitching coach Brent Strom knew there was more in the tank.

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The Diamondbacks finished the first half of the season on a high note Tuesday with a 6-2 win over the Giants. After 81 games, they are 37-44 and on pace for 74 wins (just one shy of the 75-win prediction I made back in April.) After finishing with 52 wins last year, a 22-game improvement would be a big lift for the franchise. Unsurprisingly, manager Torey Lovullo stressed the need for his players to stay focused on what’s in front of them and continue to improve. “I don’t want these guys to get complacent and say we’ve had a first half that we’re satisfied with,” Lovullo said before Tuesday’s game. “I like excellence. I like greatness. That’s what I want…

Zac Gallen pitches as the Diamondbacks face the Dodgers at Chase Field.

In July 2019, Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen made the most fascinating trade of his tenure when he dealt highly-touted shortstop prospect Jazz Chisholm to the Miami Marlins in exchange for right-handed pitcher Zac Gallen. Most fans had the same reaction: Zac who? Gallen’s anonymity didn’t last long. Just over a year after the D-backs acquired him, Gallen broke the...

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Arizona Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen watches batting practice at PNC Park.

“There are rich teams, and there are poor teams. Then there’s 50 feet of crap. And then there’s us.” Those are the iconic words of Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane in “Moneyball,” discussing the state of his cash-strapped franchise in the early 2000s. The Diamondbacks’ situation, granted, is less dire: Their final 2021 payroll ranked a reasonable 21st in...

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