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STL 2, MIA 0; Alcantara throws a gem, Miami falls late

Sandy Alcantara never seems to get much run support when facing his former team.

In July 2013, then-17-year-old Sandy Alcantara signed with the St. Louis Cardinals for $125,000 as an international free agent. Wednesday night, almost 9 years later, he faced his former team for the 4th time in his Major League career. The last time Alcantara faced the Cardinals (June 16, 2021), he endured a hard-luck, complete-game loss in St. Louis. This outing left a nearly identical taste in Marlins fans’ mouths, as Miami yet again wasted a phenomenal outing by their ace, dropping the contest 2-0.

Making his 3rd start of the 2022 regular season and his second at loanDepot Park, Alcantara had a tough/unlucky top of the first. Tommy Edman led off the game by reaching on an infield hit, a weak 65.7 MPH grounder, and advanced to 2nd on a Jazz Chisholm Jr. throwing error—his second in as many nights. Sandy walked the next batter, Paul Goldschmidt, but then retired the Cardinals’ 3-4-5 hitters in order, throwing a total of 27 pitches in the inning.

He was extremely efficient after that.

Alcantara threw 10 pitches in the 2nd, 10 in the 3rd, 8 in the 4th, 10 each in the 5th and 6th, 11 in the 7th, and 12 in the 8th, for a total of 98 pitches, just 71 pitches in innings 2-8.

“He had everything going tonight” said catcher Jacob Stallings.

Alcantara agreed. “Everything was good tonight. My two-seam, my changeup, slider combo. I feel great tonight about my game.”

Unfortunately for him, Miami was held scoreless through 8 as well. Mattingly turned to closer Anthony Bender in the top of the ninth inning of a tie ballgame. Bender retired Goldshmidt to begin the inning, but then walked Tyler O’Neill on some close pitches. All-Star 3rd baseman Nolan Arenado, who had struck out in all 3 of his plate appearances against Alcantara, blasted a 2-run shot into the Recess Lounge in left field, giving St. Louis the 2 run advantage.

The game ended with a score of 2-0. Bender got tagged with the loss, falling to 0-2. The hard-throwing right-hander has allowed at least one baserunner in each of his 5 appearances this season. Genesis Cabrera got the win, while Giovanny Gallegos earned his third save of the season.

Miami falls to 4-7 on the year, now 3-3 at home, with 8 straight losses to the Cards dating back to last season. Marlins manager Don Mattingly turned 61 today, falling to 4-6 overall (1-4 since coming to Miami) in games that he has managed on his birthday.

Pablo López takes the ball for Miami on Thursday to try and avoid the sweep.

Don Mattingly’s Postgame Press Conference

Win Probability Chart - Cardinals @ Marlins