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Marlins links, 10/1/18: Marlins lose season finale, the Mesa brothers have landed, offseason obstacles

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As the games come to an end for 2018, our coverage is just gettin’ started!

MLB: Miami Marlins at New York Mets Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Sandy pitches well in losing effort

Sandy Alcántara pitched well in the Marlins season finale against the Mets. Alcántara turned in a quality start and his 10 strikeouts over seven innings established a new career high.

The Mets’ lone run came in the fourth inning off the bat of a Todd Frazier. Isaac Galloway’s misplay in left field allowed the Mets’ Jeff McNeil to score.

Noah Syndergaard pitched a complete game shutout. The Marlins didn't score a run over their last two games, in fact, a streak of 22 innings. Lack of offense was a problem all season long and it continued to plague them until the end.

Players, staff reflect on 2018

Here’s a social media round-up of Marlins expressing their gratitude to the fans and looking forward to brighter days ahead:

Bienvenidos a Miami

Víctor Víctor Mesa and Víctor Mesa Jr. have landed in Miami in advance of their open workout at Marlins Park next Friday.

Rumor has it that they might not be leaving for awhile:

The Baltimore Orioles are the only team with more international pool money. The key will be for the Marlins to add to their pool via trade or persuade the Mesa brothers to accept less, emphasizing the other cultural/lifestyle perks.

Questions the Marlins must answer in the offseason

MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro address five decisions the Marlins must make in the offseason. He covers five different situations ranging in topics from Miami’s decision on All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto to offseason spending.

Are the Marlins going to be able to re-sign their best catcher since Pudge Rodriguez (sorry, Paul Lo Duca), or is he destined for the trading block (to make the playoffs in 2019 for another team)? Are the Marlins going to be big spenders this offseason as hometown kid Manny Machado enters free agency?

While the rest of the baseball world will be focused on the playoffs, Derek Jeter and Co. will be in Miami finding solutions to these problems.

Don Mattingly predicts the next movement

Pitches low in the zone end up in the bleachers, as Major League Baseball has embraced upper-cut swings and steep launch angles. But you can have success by attacking above their barrels.

Once an expert hitter himself, the Marlins manager anticipates that a new generation of throwback players could thrive in this era (h/t David Laurila, FanGraphs):

“The guys who are telling us to hit the ball in the air are the same guys who saying we need to pitch up because guys are trying to hit the ball in the air. Sinker-ball guys have kind of left the game a little bit. You see more guys now who ride the fastball up. I think we’re looking for (hitters) who are more flat paths now—swing paths that can hit the ball that’s up. That’s really the next step—guys going back to being able to hit the high ball.”