The Arizona Diamondbacks have gone bird-hunting for the second time in team history. This time, it was right-handed pitcher Zac Gallen who hit a fine-feathered friend in mid-air with a pitch on Wednesday.
Gallen was warming up prior to the Snakes’ game in his throwing session. While it was speculated it might have been a slider that caused the splat, Gallen insists it was a curve that crushed the bird. The end result was the same nonetheless. The victim was pronounced dead on arrival.
Zac Gallen really hit a bird with a curveball. pic.twitter.com/T6XOZudoMH
— Bally Sports Arizona (@BALLYSPORTSAZ) May 17, 2023
“I don’t really know what happened, honestly,” Gallen said later. “I just know that the ball changed directions really. I saw what happened. It’s kind of a freak accident. It’s unfortunate.”
And while no one was laughing at how the poor fowl ran afoul of Zac Gallen’s pitch, it didn’t incite a few jokes. Along with a handful of chuckles and bad puns like the ones seen here. However, it also harkened back to another famous time when another frequent flyer got dropped by a Diamondback dart.
Ironically, Hall of Famer Randy Johnson did the exact same thing that Gallen did – while ALSO pitching for Arizona in 2001. That was the same season that the franchise won their first and only World Series, with their ‘pair of aces’ – Johnson and Curt Schilling – leading the way.
Johnson was pitching during a spring training game that year against the San Francisco Giants, and during the seventh inning, a bird flew right in front of home plate during a pitch and was hit by the ball.
Zac Gallen has been a bright spot this season for Arizona. Prior to his run-in with the bird last week, he had posted a 2.35 ERA, a 6-1 record, an NL-best 0.855 WHIP, and 70 strikeouts in 57 1/3 innings across nine starts