Let’s look at Wednesday’s starters:
- Sandy Alcantara 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R (1 ER), 4 BB, 2 K (84 pitches)
- Jefry Rodriguez 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 3 K (91 pitches)
A whetstone is a type of sharpening rock used to hone the blade of dulled steel tools. They can come in all sorts of shapes, and they’ve been around as long as there’s been a need for sharp stuff. You can find these stones with a high variety of grit sizes, a myriad of edge types, and they can be composed from both natural and man-made materials. Everything from kitchen cutlery to scythes benefits from a good sharpening off the ole whetstone.
Let’s pick up a metaphorical edged tool together for a moment. I’d like to call this knife: José Ramírez. José was once very sharp. He’d not only slice through that onion, but also the cutting board, and your faux-marble countertop. So sharp that this knife had an 8 WAR season in 2018. With all top-of-the-line knives, José’s edge began to fade over time. 2019 has been a dull season for him so far. It got to the point where our wonderful Indians sister-site, Let’s Go Tribe, posted this article earlier today: “Something’s not right with José Ramírez”
If you’re not picking up on where this whole whetstone metaphor is going...here’s your sign
Tito to reporters around 11:05 a.m. on Jose Ramirez: "I'm telling you, he's going to be fine"— Ryan Lewis (@ByRyanLewis) April 24, 2019
Jose Ramirez by 3:55 p.m.: Has a home run, three hits total, four RBI and is a triple short of the cycle after that two-run double gives the Indians a 6-2 lead in the 8th
Blowing past Francisco Lindor and Leonys Martin, Sandy Alcantara fell into his only real bad habit of the day. Hitting fastballs in the top third of the zone has always been a specialty of José Ramírez, and that continued to prove true today.
Home run number two for Jose Ramirez pic.twitter.com/0neErOCFDC— James Rapien (@JamesRapien) April 24, 2019
For a moment, it looked like the wheels were definitely starting to fall off in the 3rd inning. Sandy Alcantara, as mentioned in the broadcast, typically struggles most in his second trip through a lineup. However, if he survives and makes it to Round 3, he is really solid.
Continuing this trend today, Leonys Martin knocked a grounder to Starlin Castro who, while making a fantastic defensive snag, attempted a truly bad throw over to first. This allowed Martin to scramble to second and brought up none other than José Ramírez. Alcantara’s decision to throw the letter-high fastball would prove a poor choice as Ramirez would drive in Martin, claiming his second RBI of the day.
The Marlins anemic offense made Jefry Rodriguez look like an ace through seven innings of today’s game. They wouldn’t get on the board until the top of the 5th inning courtesy of a Jon Berti sacrifice fly to score Jorge Alfaro.
What originally felt like the hinge of the game came in the 5th inning, with bases loaded and one man out. Carlos Santana with a 2-2 count and 5 fouled-off pitches, looked ready to put the game away. Sandy stayed disciplined and trusted his changeup. Feast your eyes, folks.
it's been up and down for Sandy Alcantara lately, but he is still flashing some pretty bonkers stuff. here's a ludicrous changeup (?!) he threw to Carlos Santana earlier today pic.twitter.com/DU32pPqw9v— Cespedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) April 24, 2019
Carlos Gonzalez thankfully grounded out after that to end the inning, stranding all three baserunners.
José Quijada—the 23-year-old that hails from Caripito, Venezuela—made his Major League debut today in the sixth inning as Jarlin García was placed on Paternity Leave. Congrats to García as he celebrated the arrival of his daughter Genesis.
Felicidades a nuestro Jarlin Garcia por el nacimiento de su hija Génesis Mabel. Muchas bendiciones para ella. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/OnAG21Hlyj— Toros del Este (@TorosdelEste) April 24, 2019
Quijada and his high velocity wind-up have pitched five games in New Orleans before today. While in NoLa, he held a 3.38 ERA with 4 walks and 8 strikeouts over 8 innings pitched. In a up-and-down outing, Quijada struck out Jason Kipnis and Jake Bauers. However, he would give up an easy double to Kevin Plawecki and walked Max Moroff.
Nick Anderson came in to put away the Quijada’s leftovers and close out the 6th.
Old friend Nick Wittgren got Nick Berti with the same toolkit that other Indians pitchers had used to great success today. Open thing up with the elevated fastball then drop it deep in the zone to send them walking. Wittgren has already become one of the Tribes most reliable relievers this season. Thankfully, Martin Prado would tie things up with his first homerun of the year.
HOME RUN ALERT!— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) April 24, 2019
Martin Prado goes yard with his first homer of the year to tie the game!
Catch the final two innings now on FOX Sports Florida and the FOX Sports App. #JuntosMiami #MLB pic.twitter.com/a9wesVZES6
As the ballgame was tied in the 8th, Adam Conley, with runners at first and second, caught Kevin Plawecki’s bunt attempt like it was an easy pop fly right in front of the mound. This brought up Jake Bauers again who then drove a clean line-drive through the left side of the shift to score CarGo from second base. After striking out Max Moroff, Francisco Lindor would single to continue the Tribes’ dominance. José Ramírez, looking razor sharp, scored the final two on a stout double to right field.
The Marlins will pick up the action again Thursday at 7:05 ET as they take on the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Caleb Smith and Aaron Nola will face off in a match-up of Hot vs. Not. Smith is coming in looking like one of the best lefties in the game, while Nola and his 6.84 ERA continue to struggle in 2019.
Marlins vs. Indians Box Score (MLB.com)
Fish Picks answer key
2). Push! MLB has official game time at 2:53