Diamond Heels Make MLB History

CHAPEL HILL, NC – A pair of former Diamond Heels made Major League Baseball history in the past two weeks, etching their names alongside some of baseball’s immortals.

Catcher Jacob Stallings set the MLB record for most consecutive games without being charged with a passed ball, while pitcher Zac Gallen posted the game’s seventh-longest scoreless innings pitched streak.

On August 29, Stallings, a member of the Miami Marlins, surpassed the MLB record of 224 consecutive games set by Hall of Famer and 10-time Gold Glove winner Johnny Bench from 1974-76.

“Passed balls have always been something important for me to prevent,” Stallings told Bally Sports. “It’s not the most illustrious Major League record probably, but I think it’s pretty cool.”

He has since extended the streak to 231 through Saturday’s game in Philadelphia. His last passed ball came on Aug. 14, 2020, during his time with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

“Jacob is one of the finest catchers and best leaders I’ve had the privilege of coaching.” UNC head coach Scott Forbes said. “He has developed into one of the best catchers in baseball and we’re extremely proud of all he has accomplished.”

While Stallings’ streak is still alive, Gallen’s run at history came to an end Sunday in the fourth inning of his start against Colorado.

The Arizona Diamondbacks’ hurler surrendered three runs to the Rockies in the frame, ending his scoreless innings streak at 44.1 innings, surpassing Brandon Webb’s franchise mark of 42.0 innings.

“Zac has become one of the most dominant pitchers in the Major Leagues and what he has done over the past month is unbelievable,” Forbes said. “He’s a tireless worker and has earned his place among baseball’s best pitchers. It’s been an absolute pleasure to watch his ascent.”

It was the first time that Gallen had allowed a run since August 2.

In addition to being a franchise record, it was the seventh-longest scoreless innings streak in baseball history, 14.2 shy of Orel Hershier’s record of 59 set in 1988.

“It’s bittersweet, because coming into it, the franchise record was the one that I was most concerned about, really,” Gallen said. “Orel’s 59 was another stratosphere for me. I just tried not to really concern myself with that one – that was looking too far ahead. But I knew that the franchise record was within reach, so my job was just to throw up a scoreless first .”

Gallen’s scoreless-innings streak trails only Hershiser (59), Don Drysdale (58), Bob Gibson (47), Zack Greinke (45 2/3), Carl Hubbell (45 1/3), and Sal Maglie (45).

His streak of six consecutive starts of six or more scoreless innings also ended Sunday, leaving him tied with Drysdale (1968), Hershiser (’88), and Greinke (2015) for the all-time record.

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