It wasn’t smooth in the end, but the Marlins escaped with a one-run victory over Shohei Ohtani, Mike Trout, and the Los Angeles Angels.
After eight spectacular innings from Sandy Alcantara (I copied and pasted those words from all my previous recaps), Marlins closer Tanner Scott took over in the ninth. While Scott has perhaps been the Marlins’ most reliable pitcher in the closing role this year with 10 saves in 12 tries, Tuesday was his fourth appearance in five days.
It may have been the lack of rest that caused him to load the bases with a single and two walks with just one out. Up 2-0 with one out, Scott gave up a sacrifice fly to center field by Taylor Ward that allowed Michael Stefanic to score from third. A good throw from center field by Jesus Sanchez kept the other two runners on first and second from advancing.
Scott induced a lineout to centerfield by Brandon Walsh to seal the shaky victory.
Alcantara delivered another near-perfect game that has become customary this year. He was perfect through 5 ⅔ IP, gave up zero runs, and struck out 10 – two of those Ks were against Trout who is currently in a 1-for-17 slump.
There are few words that can properly illustrate how good Alcantara has been this season. So I will just list some ridiculous stats here:
-Tuesday was his 11th consecutive start of at least 7 innings.
-He has eight outings this season of at least 8 innings pitched. No other major leaguer has more than three. It is already more than anyone had during the entire 2021 season. It is only July 6.
-He threw a pitch on Tuesday that registered in at a season-high 100.6 MPH. It was his 94th pitch of the game.
-While most pitchers get hit around when their pitch count gets high, Sandy’s actually goes down. He has a .230 opponent batting average in his first 25 pitches this year, while he is allowing a .172 in pitches 76-100 and .167 in pitches 101 and higher.
The two runs Miami scored were a pair of solo home runs by Garrett Cooper and Brian De La Cruz.
Don Mattingly’s Postgame Press Conference
The Marlins have a chance at a two-game sweep at 6:40 p.m. on Wednesday. Pitcher and designated hitter Shohei Ohtani will take the mound for the Angels against Trevor Rogers and the Fish. With a win, the Marlins would be .500 for the first time since May 4. It is expected to be the largest weekday crowd of the season, aside from the home opener. The crowd of 13,338 on Tuesday will hold that distinction for now.