Simply being selected to the MLB All-Star Game is a wonderful achievement for a young pitcher like Sandy Alcantara. It means walking the red carpet, picking the brains of numerous future Hall of Famers and being introduced before an international audience.
The lone player representing the cellar-dwelling Marlins this year, the National League coaching staff was non-committal about finding an opportunity for Alcantara to take the mound Tuesday night.
Sandy Alcantara told me he's not sure when he'll see the mound tonight. NL manager Dave Roberts simply told him "Be ready." #Marlins #AllStarGame— Jordan McPherson (@J_McPherson1126) July 9, 2019
The American League squad jumped ahead 1-0 on a Michael Brantley double in the second inning, and they led the rest of the way. That gave NL manager Dave Roberts one fewer inning to maneuver with. Complicating the situation further, Roberts was determined to get all three of his Dodgers pitchers involved before accommodating the relatively obscure All-Stars like Alcantara.
Thankfully, the Domincan right-hander got his first taste of Midsummer Classic competition in the bottom of the eighth as the final arm out of the NL bullpen. He made all Fish fans proud with his performance.
Alcantara tossed 10 pitches in a scoreless inning, recording one strikeout and working around a leadoff single. The AL batters he faced were Gleyber Torres (Yankees), Whit Merrifield (Royals) and José Abreu (White Sox).
Per Statcast, here—in chronological order—are each of his pitch types and velocities:
- 96.5 mph sinker (swinging strike)
- 96.4 mph sinker (single)
- 97.8 mph four-season fastball (ball)
- 96.3 mph sinker (swinging strike)
- 89.2 mph slider (foul)
- 98.6 mph four-seam fastball (ball)
- 99.1 mph four-season fastball (swinging strike)
- 98.3 mph sinker (ball)
- 99.4 mph four-seam fastball (foul)
- 89.1 mph slider (ground ball double play)
Not quite the right combination of length and leverage to crack the short list of top Marlins All-Star achievements, but impressive nonetheless.
Alcantara led the Marlins staff with 101 1⁄3 innings pitched during the first half of the season. Barring injury, he figures to stick in the rotation the rest of the way.