Tuesday’s loss to the Toronto Blue Jays followed a similar pattern the Miami Marlins have seen all season. Dominant performance by their starting pitcher, bad offense, questionable coaching decision, one costly mistake in the ninth inning to squander any chances of winning.
It was Sandy Alcantara’s turn to dazzle on the mound with minimal run support. For the third time in his last four starts, he pitched at least eight innings. He is the first Marlin since jose Fernandez in 2014 to pitch eight or more innings in back-to-back games.
“I think everything was working today,” Alcantara said. “I felt a little bit uncomfortable, because the ball was drifting a little bit. But it was fine to do my job. Just throw the ball and try to throw it straight.”
Part of the reason Alcantara was able to get deep into the game was his ability to attack hitters and get quick outs. He needed just 85 pitches to get through eight innings and averaged 2.7 pitches per at-bat. Alcantara allowed just one run
Unfortunately, a 439-foot Jesús Sánchez solo home run to center field was the only run the Miami offense put together.
With the game tied in the eighth, the Marlins desperately needed offense. Of course, they pulled Alcantara for a pinch hitter. That pinch hitter was Sandy León, who came into Tuesday’s game batting .183. He struck out swinging and the Marlins failed to score for the rest of the game. Magneuris Sierra, Lewin Díaz, and Luis Marte were also available off the bench.
“Well we had three lefties and Sandy (León),” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “Switch hitter who is probably better at hitting right-handed. If we can get him on base, we can run (Sierra) there. We get good speed in the game, and really with their lefty, we really wanted to take a shot. We felt Sandy was a better option than our lefties.”
Yimi García gave up the go-ahead run in the ninth inning on a Lourdes Gurriel Jr. double. In 16 save situations, García has allowed three extra-base hits. In 14 non-save situations he has allowed nine extra-base hits.
The Marlins and Blue Jays play again at 7:10 p.m. on Wednesday. Trevor Rogers will take the mound for Miami against Robbie Ray.
- Blue Jays