Don Mattingly on offensive woes: ‘I don’t think I’ve ever been through anything quite like this’
The Miami Marlins took a four-game winning streak into Tuesday and, right now, they’re refusing to lose easily in any sort of competition — even a National Anthem standoff before the game even begins.
Sandy Alcantara and Daniel Stumpf spent almost 20 minutes standing in front of their respective dugouts with their hands over their hearts trying to get the other to budge after the anthem concluded in Detroit. Ultimately, the first base umpire determined the victor.
Alcantara was ready for the long haul when Fieldin Culbreth finally forced him into the Marlins’ dugout. The starting pitcher stood by himself as the Tigers defense lined up in the field, and outfielders Austin Dean and Garrett Cooper took some pregame warm-up swings near the on-deck circle.
Outfielder Curtis Granderson eventually gave Alcantara some support, affixing a catcher’s chest protector around his torso and placing a catcher’s mask atop his head. The right-handed pitcher was ready to take one for the team if a foul ball screamed in his direction until Culbreth declared Stumpf the winner with neither pitcher showing any signs of heading to their respective dugout.
Apparently, Miami’s standoff loss in the second game of a three-game series at Comerica Park was a bad sign. The Tigers took a lead just two batters into the game after back-to-back hits to open the bottom of the first, added another run in the second and one more in the third with back-to-back two-out hits off starting pitcher Jose Urena. The Marlins’ hope to extend a season-long winning streak to five games was quickly put in danger in Michigan.
Alcantara will get a chance to win an actual game Saturday when Miami’s seven-game road trip heads to Washington. The righty is slated to make his 10th start of the season at Nationals Park. He enters his next start against the Washington Nationals with a 4.25 ERA, 36 strikeouts and 24 walks.