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The Offishial Show Episode 118: Marlins Pitchers Forced to Adapt

Identifying several subtle but potentially significant changes that Sandy Alcantara and Anthony Bender made this past week, and why the timing may not be a coincidence.

Home plate umpire Marvin Hudson (51) checks Miami Marlins starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara (22) for foreign substances after the first inning at loanDepot Park Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Ely Sussman notices that Anthony Bender’s slider has been lacking its usual bite and Sandy Alcantara’s four-seam fastball is being phased out of his repertoire. Can the Marlins pitching staff sustain its first-half greatness in a world without sticky foreign substances?

Enjoy Episode 118!

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For the first time in his brief big league career, Bender has had back-to-back full-inning appearances without recording any strikeouts. Alcantara has thrown only 9 four-seam fastballs over his last three starts combined, shifting his focus to pitches that don’t rely as much on spin rate for effectiveness.

Some other notes from the Marlins’ weekend games:

  • Zach Thompson authored an excellent outing on Saturday thanks to a nasty curveball that he repeatedly spotted at the knees and below.
  • Jesús Sánchez is more or less the guy I thought he would be, which marks an improvement from his 2020 debut but still leaves a lot to be desired.
  • Starling Marte is 0-for-his-last-15 at the plate.

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Fish Stripes is ranked by Feedspot as the world’s No. 2 Miami Marlins podcast (trailing only the pod that’s produced by the franchise itself). Our programs include The Offishial Show, Big Fish Small Pod, Marlins Barbecue and Earning Their Stripes. All new episodes are posted to You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Podbean, Megaphone or wherever you normally get your pods from.