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Defensive misread costs Marlins in Game 161 pitcher’s duel

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Todd Frazier’s RBI double got past Isaac Galloway in left field, contributing to the 1-0 final score. Sandy Alcántara gets the tough-luck loss despite 10 strikeouts.

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

Rookie right-hander Sandy Alcántara followed the lead of the other Marlins starters this weekend in shutting down the New York Mets. However, deprived of run support, the Fish lost 1-0 on Sunday afternoon.

They finished the season with a 63-98 record and minus-220 run differential, matching fairly closely with preseason expectations. As a result, Miami will have the No. 4 overall pick in the 2019 MLB draft.

  • Sandy Alcántara: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 K (98 pitches)
  • Noah Syndergaard: 9.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K (101 pitches)

I’ll keep the recap very brief because there wasn’t a whole lot at stake in this game, and we have a boatload of end-of-season and offseason content to roll out in the coming days.

For the third time in six career starts, Sandy faced the Mets. This was arguably his best performance yet. The 23-year-old had filthy movement on his four-seamer, which led to constant ground balls and a gaudy strikeout total.

Credit Todd Frazier for getting good wood on the ball to drive in the first and only run (108 mph exit velocity), but Isaac Galloway usually makes this catch. Uncharacteristically late read.

With Alcántara so effective otherwise, it proved to be an uneventful day for manager J.T. Realmuto and the “neophyte” coaching staff.

Realmuto inserted pinch-hitter Rafael Ortega for him in the eighth inning, a no-brainer considering the score and elevated pitch count. He also challenged a fair/foul call a few moments later on Ortega’s liner down the right-field line. The call was upheld.

Noah Syndergaard made a complete-game shutout look effortless. Throwing 77.2 percent of his pitches for strikes and inducing plenty of soft contact, the Mets never even had a reliever warm up behind him (a truly rare occurrence in September baseball).

The Marlins only put a runner in scoring position once when Magneuris Sierra slashed an opposite-field double in the eighth. JT Riddle couldn’t convert with two outs.

Sierra finished the season with a .211 slugging percentage, third-lowest in franchise history (min. 100 PA). Fellow rookie outfielder Lewis Brinson was one hit shy of a .200 batting average, and that sample size was much larger (and more discouraging). Realmuto stayed in the dugout for the entire game. His 2018 stats: .277/.340/.484, 21 HR, 127 wRC+, 4.8 fWAR in 125 G.

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September 30, 2018 win probability chart
FanGraphs

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