Beyond the pleasantries of this weekend’s attendance numbers at loanDepot Park, the new look-New York Yankees entered Sunday’s series finale having taken the first two games of this weekend set in Miami.
But as those July skies turned to August sunshine ace the Marlins turned to their ace, Sandy Alcantara, to snap the team’s 3-game skid, to say the 25-year old was great would very much undersell his outing Sunday.
7 innings, 99-pitches, 10 strikeouts, and just 2 hits later, Alcantara turned in arguably his most dominant effort of the season. Yet, it was the Miami bullpen that spoiled what would’ve been the right-hander’s career-best 7th win of the season as the Marlins fell 3-1, dropping their record to 44-61, succumbing to a series sweep.
Each game between the former World Series opponents was decided by two runs apiece, with the Marlins now losers of 4 straight.
Sandy Alcántara, Sick 93mph Changeup. pic.twitter.com/YD9GMLebe5— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 1, 2021
Interim manager James Rowson, filling in for Don Mattingly following a positive COVID-19 test, turned to Anthony Bass in relief of Alcantara. Bass would allow a leadoff single to Brett Gardner and induce a ground ball off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton that third baseman Brian Anderson booted but recovered only to throw away, allowing the former Gardner to reach third.
Enter Richard Bleier with one out and runner’s on first and third and the narrative of the weekend—in the form of newly acquired Yankees first baseman and Parkland native Anthony Rizzo—reinforced itself with a game-tying RBI-single. Since joining the Yankees before this series, Rizzo has seen a 32-point jump in his season OPS, going from .792 to .824.
New York would quickly take the lead in the inning on the strength of an Aaron Judge single, his 49th RBI of the season.
Miami’s lone run came via Brian Anderson, whose groundout in the bottom of the 1st put the Marlins out to a 1-0 lead they’d hold until the above-noted top of the 8th.
Sunday wasn’t all array with harping on the downtrodden, though, as the organization announced its signing of first-round draft pick Kahlil Watson. Watson, a high school shortstop out of North Carolina, referred to the moment as a “dream come true” in an interview with Bally Sports’ Jessica Blaylock.
Right fielder Bryan De La Cruz, who the team acquired from Houston in the Yimi García trade, collected his first Major League hit off of Yankees’ starter Jordan Montgomery. Montgomery, though, would give the Yankees 5 innings of one-run ball, striking out 5 and allowing only 3 hits.
With little to hang their hats on, the Marlins will continue their homestand Monday as they welcome the first-place New York Mets in the first of a four-game series in an effort to restore some life into a season that many would argue has long flatlined.
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