CHICAGO -- Henderson Alvarez has such quirky mannerisms that his teammates have nicknamed him “The Alien.” Alvarez might not be conventional on the mound, from his odd first-pitch windup to the super-slow curves he throws on occasion.
But he has definitely been sensational of late.
Alvarez hasn’t allowed a run in any of his previous three starts, a stretch of 21 consecutive scoreless innings. If he pitches deep into Sunday’s game, he could bid for the Marlins’ record for consecutive scoreless innings by a starting pitcher — 29 in a row by Javier Vazquez in 2011.
Alvarez leads the majors in complete games and shutouts this season with three each. Manager Mike Redmond said Alvarez’s talents go beyond his pitching, though.
“He fields his position as well as any pitcher I think I’ve ever seen,” Redmond said. “He’s so athletic out there, and that gets him a lot of outs. And he can hit. He gives you a good at-bat. He can bunt. If we needed a pinch-hitter off the bench, he’d probably be one of our first guys to hit. Or if we really had to, we could put him in the infield somewhere. We could put him at second. That’s probably a little scary, but I truly believe he could do it. I’ve watched him take grounders. He’s pretty good.”
not stanton’s day
Giancarlo Stanton is having an All-Star-caliber season.
But in Friday’s 13-inning loss to the Cubs, Stanton had a day to forget. In six at-bats, Stanton struck out four times and grounded into a double play.
That’s just not bad, it’s historically bad.
Stanton joined Chuck Carr as the only Marlins ever to whiff at least four times, hit into a double play and fail to record a hit in the same game. Carr did it on Aug. 1, 1995, in only five at-bats.
Stanton said he had trouble seeing the ball “for like three or four at-bats” because of the shadows during the afternoon game.
“It definitely didn’t help my case,” Stanton said.
Preston Wilson struck out four times and grounded into a double play in a 2002 game. But he also homered, walked and drove in two runs that day.
• Look for the Marlins to transfer catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to the 15-day disabled list on Sunday. Saltalamacchia is on the seven-day concussion list, which is due to expire.
“Salty’s gone two or three days symptom-free, which is good,” Redmond said. “But he won’t be back on this road trip, and he’s probably going to need to play a few games [in the minors]. So maybe he goes and plays a couple of games in Jupiter, just to make sure he’s all right.”
• Sunday: Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez (3-3, 2.62 ERA) at Chicago Cubs RHP Jake Arrieta (1-1, 3.00), 2:20 p.m., Wrigley Field.
• Monday: No game.