Miami, FL—Another memorable Sandy performance, another gut-wrenching loss. Miami Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara was as special on Friday night as he has been all season long.
He and the Marlins welcomed Kyle Gibson and the Philadelphia Phillies for a rematch of Miami’s home opener (April 14th).
The Marlins came off a four-game split with the Pittsburgh Pirates in which they did not play their best baseball. A series win against their division rivals would give them some serious momentum going into the All-Star break. Things didn’t get off to the best start.
Miami gave Alcantara an early lead on Friday, something they haven’t been able to do that often. Avisaíl García led off the second inning with a walk—his 10th of the season in 75 games—and Brian Anderson deposited a double to left, which set the Marlins up with runners and second and third and nobody out. Bryan De La Cruz cashed in for Miami and drove a fly ball just deep enough for García to tag and score the game’s first run.
After that, no runs were scored for a while, as Sandy faced the minimum through 6 innings. J.T. Realmuto recorded a single in the 5th but was erased on a Bryson Stott double play.
The Phillies came through in the 7th, however. After Sandy uncharacteristically surrendered a 1-out walk to Rhys Hoskins, Nick Castellanos snuck a ground ball single through the right side to beat the shift and start their first and only rally. Clean-up man Darick Hall then doubled on a sharp line drive over Jorge Soler’s head which tied the game (Castellanos was thrown out at the plate on the play after running through the stop sign).
Former Marlin Realmuto once again hurt his old club and doubled down the left field line to give Philadelphia the lead. Similar to a couple other plays we’ve seen this month, the ball was within Anderson’s reach at third base but made it past him anyway.
Clutch knock from J.T. Realmuto off Sandy Alcantara to give the Phillies a late lead against the Marlins. pic.twitter.com/h5ckbp45Nh— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) July 16, 2022
Sandy went out and finished the 8th, which ended his night. He was spectacular yet again, as his line evidenced: 8 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 12 SO, 0 HR. He did so on 106 pitches (75 strikes).
Sandy Alcantara's final start of first half:— Christina De Nicola (@CDeNicola13) July 16, 2022
8 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 12 K
106 pitches, 75 strikes
Max velo: 99.1 mph
NL rankings as of now
Innings pitched: First (138 1/3)
ERA: First (1.76)
WHIP: Third (0.90)
Average against: Third (.190)
Strikeouts: Fourth (123)#Marlins pic.twitter.com/rDFsvcGGHd
The Marlins did threaten in the 9th, as they loaded the bases with one out thanks to 3 walks from Seranthony Dominguez. Unfortunately, Jesús Sánchez (who pinch hit for De La Cruz) grounded out, and Miguel Rojas struck out on three pitches. Miami fell to 43-46 while the Phillies improved to 47-43.
Sandy continued his Cy Young-caliber season while the Marlins continued to waste his engrossing outings.
The Marlins have averaged just 2.57 runs scored over their last seven games, and even that number is inflated because of extra innings. They’re averaging only 1.43 runs in regulation.
Don Mattingly’s Postgame Press Conference
Top prospect Max Meyer will make his Major League debut Saturday at 4:10 pm to try and tie the series at one game apiece.