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.
Very similar defensive chances for Jazz Chisholm Jr. and Tommy Edman in the first inning.— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) April 20, 2022
Very different results... pic.twitter.com/eBEJzA929M
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.