The Miami Marlins came out against the Washington Nationals following a strong outing on Saturday against the St. Louis Cardinals. The team debuted with an 8-3 victory of the Cards and were looking to get behind starting pitcher Henderson Alvarez for a second victory. The club a marginal lead late into the game before the Nationals bounced back and put the Marlins on the brink of their first spring training loss. The Fish battled back with a series of hits and ended up finishing the game in a 2-2 tie.
Henderson Alvarez's Strong Outing
Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez has a lot of question marks going into the 2013 season, and we will review many of those at the start of this week. But in his first outing as a Marlin, things were looking quite good for the third-year starter. Alvarez put up an impressive two innings in the start opposite Jordan Zimmermann, striking out two batters and only allowing one hit along the way. He also did not walk a batter in the outing, thus limiting baserunners in a major way.
The most important aspect of this start was the nice number of strikeouts. Last season, Alvarez managed just 79 strikeouts in 187 innings in 2012, In just two innings of work, he put up two percent of what he did all of last season. We will be discussing later whether Henderson Alvarez has the stuff to induce strikeouts, but
Here is manager Mike Redmond on Alvarez's outing:
There was not much to the discussion there, as Redmond more or less said what every manager, pitching coach, and player says about a pitcher when he has a good day, regardless of his actual numbers. It sounds as though Alvarez was able to pound the strike zone nicely, as evidenced by getting 19 of his 22 pitches to either go for strikes or balls in play. As a result, he was able to get ahead of hitters and avoid the walks, which is useful but not particularly great advice or insight into his game.
Staff Better than Saturday
The rest of the staff also performed better than they did on Saturday. The remaining Marlins pitchers threw six strikeouts versus no walks. The only pitcher who struggled was Ryan Webb, who was credited with the Nationals' two runs off of an Anthony Rendon two-run home run. Special props to minor leaguer Evan Reed, who recorded three strikeouts in two innings pitched.
Next: Monday, February 25, @ Atlanta Braves