PHOENIX – Zac Gallen spent six innings looking like Don Larsen, the possibility of a World Series no-hitter flashing through his mind.
“I wasn’t shying away from it really,” he said. “I felt like if I could get through that meat of the order, I felt pretty good about where my pitch count was.”
With Arizona needing a win to stay in the World Series, Gallen couldn't come up with a no-hitter or a win. Corey Seager led off the seventh inning with an an opposite-field single to left through a shifted infield. He scored on Mitch Garver's single.
The Texas Rangers went on to a 5-0 victory over Gallen's Diamondbacks on Wednesday night and their first World Series title.
“It was everything that he could possibly give us and then some,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “I know what’s inside of him. I know where his heart is. And he didn’t let us down.”
There have been two no-hitters in World Series history. The New York Yankees’ Larsen pitched a perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers at Yankee Stadium in Game 5 in 1956, and Houston’s Cristian Javier, Bryan Abreu, Rafael Montero and Ryan Pressly combined for a no-hitter in Game 4 at Philadelphia last year.
Gallen's bid ended when Seager hit a knuckle-curve off the end of his bat with third baseman Evan Longoria moved near the shortstop position and shortstop Geraldo Perdomo all the way by second base. The ball bounced through open infield.
A 28-year-old right-hander, Gallen retired his first 14 batters before walking Nathaniel Lowe on a low 3-1 fastball. He lasted one more batter after Garver's single, striking out six in 6 1/3 innings while allowing one run and three hits.
“I would have rather given up a thousand runs tonight and still won the game,” he said softly in the quiet Diamondbacks clubhouse.
A year after going 12-4 with a 2.54 ERA and finishing fifth in NL Cy Young Award voting, Gallen was 17-9 with a 3.54 ERA in a career-high 34 starts. He struggled to a 2-3 record and 4.54 ERA in six postseason starts.
“This journey has been unbelievable and obviously, it's not going to end the way we wanted to," he said. “But if I know the guys in this room, it’s going to fire them up. It's going to motivate them. So I'm excited for things to come.”
Rangers starter Nathan Eovaldi repeatedly worked out of trouble, stranding runners in scoring position in each of the first five innings of his six-inning outing. Arizona left 11 runners on base and went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
“I was going to have to match him pitch for pitch,” Gallen said. “This was special. Hopefully, next time around we're ending with champagne on the last day of the year.”
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