Gallagher threw seven innings of one-run ball and the Cubs scored three seventh-inning runs for a 3-1 comeback win against the Los Angeles Dodgers on a chilly night at Wrigley Field.
"I think I know I deserve to be here," Gallagher said following the longest outing of his young Major League career.
Gallagher received a box of Iowa Cubs T-shirts with his name and number on the back before the game. They quickly became a must-have item in the clubhouse.
"I guess it was a giveaway they had down in Des Moines," Gallagher said. "They probably put the order in before I got called back up, and just sent me a box of them. I opened them up, Jimmy [Edmonds] saw them and goes, 'I want one.' It just started from there. Everyone just kept picking one."
Gallagher (2-1) held the Dodgers to four hits and two walks while striking out three despite getting hit on his pitching hand by Andre Ethier's comebacker in the first. His middle finger swelled a bit, but didn't bother him much the rest of the game. He had the finger wrapped up afterward. The Floridian also ignored the 35-degree wind chill and pitched in short sleeves, but he shouldn't get too comfortable.
"He's still got a couple things to work on, but he's telling us that he wants to stay in the rotation," Lou Piniella said.
The right-hander's only slip-up came in the fourth when Blake DeWitt smacked a single into left field to score the Dodgers' lone run. Just what does Gallagher need to improve upon?
"Better pitch execution," Gallagher said. "The 2-2 pitch to DeWitt was a hanging slider I left up. I just kind of got out in front of myself. I tried to throw a really, really good one when I just needed to throw it to a spot where it needed to be located -- just little things like that."
The Cubs trailed, 1-0, in the seventh. Ryan Theriot reached base on a fielder's choice and advanced to third on Alfonso Soriano's single, which chased Hiroki Kuroda (2-4). Jonathan Broxton entered, and Mike Fontenot was safe on a fielding error by DeWitt, allowing Theriot to score.
One out later, Aramis Ramirez battled Broxton in an eight-pitch at-bat, ending in an RBI single to put the Cubs ahead, 2-1.
"Any time you have a long at-bat, I think the advantage goes to the hitter because you see a lot of pitches," Ramirez said. "You see most of the guy's pitches, a slider, a fastball. And that guy is pretty good, so the more pitches you can see, the better."
Kosuke Fukudome followed with an insurance RBI double, one of two hits on his bobblehead night. The door-shutting combination of Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood clinched a second straight 3-1 win.
As far as the offense goes, it's back to the basics. Gallagher and Theriot were unsuccessful at advancing runners on sacrifice bunt attempts.
"We're going to work on our bunting a little bit tomorrow," Piniella said. "I already told our bunting coach to have a couple of the guys that we utilize in that area to work on it a little bit. We could have had a few more runs if we executed a little bit, and you need to execute in these low-scoring games."
As for Gallagher, he will be getting ready for his next start, on Sunday against the Rockies.
Nick Zaccardi is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less