Tensions on the mound rise with the Diamondbacks' loss

During a Sunday night game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Detroit Tigers, a seemingly mundane part of the game – the pitching mound – sparked some controversy between the two teams.

A pitching duel between Zac Gallen and Jack Flaherty was oddly highlighted by mound repairs. The Tigers right-hander has a unique way of digging into the dirt around the pitching rubber before delivering his pitches. However, this led to some concerns from his Dbacks colleague.

Zac Gallen has just recovered from an injury to his right hamstring. During a game against the Seattle Mariners, Gallen had to end the game early due to a “shortage”.

While speaking to the media after the game, Gallen said that he addressed the referees about the hole on the mound that Flaherty dug. “My back foot was put in a compromising position so I had to use other muscles,” Gallen said.

May 18, 2024;  Phoenix, Arizona, USA;  Zac Gallen pitches against the Tigers

May 18, 2024; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Zac Gallen throws against the Tigers / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Crew chief Larry Vanover took action and allowed grounds staff to make repairs to the mound between innings.

Gallen told reporters that he felt “tight” in the same hamstring that was a concern in Seattle. “I didn’t want it to become a bigger problem for me.”

Jack Flaherty and parts of the Tigers' bench were outraged by the referee's decision to repeatedly have grounds staff come and repair the home team's mound. They could be seen and heard chirping on the Diamondbacks bench and directly in front of Dbacks manager Torey Lovullo.

Lovullo declined to comment specifically on what happened between him and Flaherty, but explained that “there were some things coming from her side that were getting on our nerves, and I had enough.”

It's clear that the Dbacks manager's primary concern was the health and safety of his pitcher, and he was very appreciative of how well the crew chief handled the situation. As Flaherty began to instigate an altercation with the Diamondbacks' bench, Lovullo was seen mouthing “Sit down.”

A mound situation is something not often seen in today's game, as excellent fielders and pitchers at all levels of baseball generally “handle” uncomfortable mound conditions and throw through the mound. However, this was a far more serious situation when it came to Gallen's health and keeping him on the field.

Fortunately, Gallen said he felt good after the game and doesn't expect the Achilles tendon to be an issue in the future.

Anna Harden

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