JUPITER, Fla.—Right-hander Zac Gallen made a lasting final impression on Don Mattingly and the Miami Marlins moving into the 2019 regular season. The 23-year-old shined Sunday afternoon in a 2-1 Marlins loss to the Cardinals as both clubs concluded their Grapefruit League schedules.
Gallen took the mound in front of 6,656 fans, most of whom were dressed in “Caliente Red” to support St. Louis. He started his afternoon by kindly greeting Matt Carpenter with a punchout. He racked up seven total in his five innings, showing mid-90s velocity and nasty cutting action on his fastball.
But that was Gallen’s only costly hiccup.
Yadier Molina would be stranded at second after a double in the top of the fourth. An experienced lineup combined for just two hits against one of their own former prospects (acquired by the Marlins in the Marcell Ozuna trade). Gallen se lucio!
Post-game in the clubhouse, Zac was content speaking with the media. He described learning how to keep his adrenaline in check during his outings.
Entering Year 2 in the Marlins organization, Gallen credited catcher Chad Wallach—who’s slotted to make the Opening Day roster—for calling a good game, and CEO Derek Jeter for keeping everybody motivated:
Yadiel Rivera came through with a game-tying RBI single in the top of the eighth. He also swiped his fifth base of the spring, leading the entire team in that category.
However, it was the Cardinals who would have the last celebration. Facing “Touchdown” Tommy Eveld in the bottom of the ninth, Mendoza hit a ball into the RF corner that took a weird hop on Isaac Galloway, scoring the decisive run from second. Thus spoiling the spring training finale in Jupiter and Marlins fans’ ride home down I-95.
Spring training ended with a walk-off! pic.twitter.com/0agx0g5oQw— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) March 24, 2019
- Zac Gallen: 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K
- Rosell Herrera: 2B
- Yadiel Rivera: 1-1, SB, RBI
Next stop: Miami. OPENING DAY!