Diamondbacks ace shuts out Cubs in pitcher’s duel at Wrigley Field
For most of the day Friday, it was a classic pitcher’s duel at Wrigley Field.
But, for one brief half inning, the Diamondbacks clawed together just enough solid at-bats to scrape across the lone run in the game, as they beat the Cubs 1-0, beating them for the second straight day at Wrigley Field.
Zac Gallen and Jameson Taillon treated the 31,846 in attendance to a pitching masterclass. Through 4.1 innings, Gallen — Arizona’s ace — carried a perfect game. Taillon countered with 5.2 innings of no-hit ball. Each kept the opposing hitters guessing most of the day.
“That’s a good team, they’re in it for a reason. Zac Gallen’s one of the best pitchers in the National League, maybe in all of baseball,” Taillon said. “We ran into a tough situation today. I still like where we’re at and everything. September baseball’s meant to be played close games and stuff like that, so every inch matters. So it’s gonna be a fun next couple of weeks.”
Gallen, though ultimately pulled out ahead. The righty, competing with Cubs’ ace Justin Steele for the NL Cy Young Award, pitched a complete game shutout, striking out 9 and allowing 3 hits and a walk in the win.
“He was really good, man. He was nice,” manager David Ross said. “Just as good as he pitched. Kept us off balance.”
Ross opted to pull Jameson Taillon after 6 innings of 1-hit ball and after throwing a season-high 9 strikeouts. He turned to Julian Merryweather, who struck out the side in the 7th, and the Cubs’ bullpen to try and squeak out the win.
“I think it’s just I thought he was done,” Ross said of his decision to pull Taillon. “I thought he pitched a phenomenal game. Got a fully rested bullpen, did a really nice job.”
In the 8th, Ross went to José Cuas over his trusted relievers of Mark Leiter Jr. and Adbert Alzolay, opting to have the righty face Arizona’s pocket of right-handed hitters. It backfired when Cuas allowed a single and a walk to open the frame. After striking out rookie Jordan Lawlar (who was playing in his second major league game), Ross went to Leiter to face lefties Geraldo Perdomo and Corbin Carroll.
Leiter struck out Perdomo on his go-to splitter and then allowed a looping liner to right field. Seiya Suzuki charged at the ball, sliding to attempt to make a catch. First base umpire Stu Scheurwater called it an out to end the inning. But the Diamondbacks challenged the call and after a lengthy review, it was overturned to give Arizona a lead they would not relinquish.
“Yeah, I saw it drop, unfortunately. Obviously, it was really close. It was actually closer than I originally thought,” Nico Hoerner, who was at second base and had a clear view, said. “Sometimes with those replays, it’s called one on the field, you kinda hope there’s not enough evidence to overturn it even if it looks like it.”
In the 1st inning, Hoerner hit a 98.7 mph fly ball to left field that the Wrigley Field wind kept in the ballpark. It was the only real threat the Cubs would mount on Gallen as they failed to advance a runner past first base.
“I mean the series we just played with San Fran, it’s out every day,” Ian Happ said of the fly ball. “That’s Wrigley Field. Giveth and taketh away.
“That was a taketh away.”