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MIA 4, STL 3: Sandy’s Savior

In arguably the biggest outing of his career, Alcantara paced Miami in his 2nd CG of the season.

MLB: Miami Marlins at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

In a day that saw the Miami Marlins lose Jazz Chisholm Jr. - the current leading vote-getter in All-Star voting among NL 2nd Baseman - for an unknown period of time with a reported back strain, Wednesday’s series finale seemed a sad reminder of what could be a long stretch without their young superstar.

Then, fans took solace in remembering that Wednesday also marked the latest edition of Sandy-day, as the Marlins’ ace, Sandy Alcantara, was set to make his 16th start of the season, and the right-hander would not disappoint, authoring his 2nd complete game of the season on a career-high 117 pitches in a 4-3 Marlins’ victory.

For Alcantara, it was his first victory in 5 starts against his former club. In 4 starts previously, the 26-year-old had posted a sterling 0.99 ERA over 27.1 innings, albeit, to the tune of an 0-3 win-loss record.

With the win, Alcantara went at least 7 innings for the 10th consecutive outing, a stretch in which he’s posted a 1.47 ERA dating back to 05/11. Despite the aforementioned 117 pitches, Alcantara, as has become a constant for him, maintained his velocity throughout the outing, with his last pitch registering at 98.1 mph.

“Sandy’s pretty special,” said a less-than-surprised Don Mattingly.

“It was much of the same...easy 98 and 99...He’s a throwback, a great worker, and a great example for the younger guys...He’s just different.”

The 3 runs against Alcantara - one of which was unearned due to a Garrett Cooper throwing error, came courtesy of center fielder Dylan Carlson, who drove in a pair, and Brendan Donovan.

Jesús Aguilar would tie the ballgame at 1 in the 4th on an RBI-single (32) that scored Cooper before briefly taking the lead in the 5th following a run-scoring double play at the hands of Bryan De La Cruz.

But it would be Avísail García, whose biggest swing in a Marlins’ uniform would come in the top of the 9th. Facing Ryan Helsley, who started the season with 30 homerless innings out of the bullpen, García took a 99-mph fastball running in on his hands for a go-ahead two-run homer.

Looking Ahead

Following the scheduled off-day Thursday, Miami will begin a stretch of 17 games in 17 days ahead of the All-Star break. The Marlins will begin the month of July in D.C. when they begin a four-game set against the last-place Nationals. Trevor Rogers (3-6, 5.86 ERA) will look to get the ball rolling in Game 1 as he opposes Josiah Gray (6-4, 3.82 ERA). First pitch is slated for 6:05 Eastern from Nationals Park.

Of Note

  • With another outing of at least 7 innings Wednesday night, Sandy Alcantara became the first pitcher since Justin Verlander (08/03/18-05/21/19) to do so in at least 10 consecutive outings.
  • Alcantara’s 115.1 innings pitched through his first 16 starts are 2nd in franchise history, trailing only Carl Pavano’s 117 in 2004.
Miami Marlins (4) v. St. Louis Cardinals (3), Win Probability Graph, 29 June 2022