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.
Complete Game for Sandy Alcantara.— Starting 9 (@Starting9) June 30, 2022
Has to feel even more special vs the team that traded him. This man is something special. pic.twitter.com/JCXqZKgUBG
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.”
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.
AVISAIL GARCIA. NO DOUBTER.— Bally Sports Florida: Marlins (@BallyMarlins) June 30, 2022
Marlins were down to their LAST OUT and Avisail Garcia's 2-run HR gives Miami the lead and sets Sandy Alcantara for the 9th inning @Marlins | #MakeItMiami pic.twitter.com/k0JPD0hayc
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.
- 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.