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Zac Gallen Is Now An Enemy Of The Birds

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 13: Starting pitcher Zac Gallen #23 of the Arizona Diamondbacks gestures at home plate umpire Ramon De Jesus #18 during the fourth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Chase Field on May 13, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Chris Coduto/Getty Images

Zac Gallen is having a tremendous season. He has a 2.35 ERA. His six wins lead the league. He’s tops in strikeout-to-walk ratio and WHIP. His luck seems to be rubbing off, too, as the Diamondbacks are 25-19. Let’s hope his teammates don’t take too much inspiration from him, as after yesterday Gallen leads the league in another stat: birds killed per throw.

Gallen put himself atop that leaderboard by killing an as-yet-unspecified bird with a breaking ball while tossing in the outfield before a game in Oakland yesterday. “I don’t really know what happened, honestly,” Gallen said. “I just know that the ball changed directions really. I saw what happened. It’s kind of a freak accident. It’s unfortunate.”

Gallen said he did not remember the infamous spring training game where Randy Johnson hit a bird with a pitch, as he was 5 years old, but he’d seen the highlight many times in the years later. One of the Arizona Republic’s headlines about the story said Gallen “joins Randy Johnson on elite list.” Gallen, Johnson, the big football stadium in Minneapolis … all enemies of birds, though that last one has a much higher kill count.

Of course this happened in Oakland, where everything seems to be a complete mess. Fortunately, Gallen’s next start is tomorrow in Pittsburgh, which has a nice stadium that is presumably not as haunted by death.

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