When Sandy Alcantara has his best stuff, the Miami right-hander can dominate hitters.
What Alcantara and the Marlins learned Friday night in a 1-0 loss to the San Francisco Giants: When he doesn’t have his best stuff, he still can do quite well.
Alcantara termed his stuff as “so-so,” yet he held the Giants to a run on nine hits in seven innings. He struck out six and for the first time since his season debut March 31 against Colorado, he did not issue a walk.
“I actually thought it was kind of one of his better [starts], just from the standpoint I don’t think he had his really good stuff tonight,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said. “He seemed to be up in the zone a little more than usual, but, obviously, you see the results.”
Alcantara’s results have been impressive since the beginning of August. In eight starts, he has put together a 2.59 ERA (16 earned runs in 55 2/3 innings). In six of his past seven starts, he has lasted at least seven innings.
Alcantara clearly takes pride in his ability to minimize bullpen use.
“I’m going deep into games,” Alcantara said. “That’s what I want. That what my team wants.”
For the season, Alcantara has thrown 178 2/3 innings, two shy of the franchise rookie record set by lefty Scott Olsen in 2006.
Alcantara shut out the Royals last Sunday. He kept the Giants off the board until the sixth Friday night. Stephen Vogt led off the inning with a double and moved to third on Kevin Pillar’s groundout.
With the infield playing in, Buster Posey chopped one between third baseman Starlin Castro and shortstop Miguel Rojas to bring home the game’s only run.
With two outs in the seventh, Brandon Belt doubled for his third hit of the night. At that point, Mattingly could have gone to the bullpen. Instead, he let Alcantara face Evan Longoria.
Alcantara (5-13) rewarded Mattingly by striking out Longoria.
“He’s showed us that he’s the guy,” Mattingly said of Alcantara, who turned 24 on Sept. 7. “He’s been the guy that’s come the farthest this year, from start to finish.”
Alcantara still took the loss; in fact, in this strong eight-start stretch, he’s 1-3 with four no decisions.
The Marlins managed only four hits and did not get a runner past first base. Giants rookie right-hander Tyler Beede (4-9) worked the first 6 1/3 innings, allowing three hits and one walk. He struck out five.
Mattingly said Beede “pretty much looked like he was getting both sides of the plate. We didn’t really get a whole lot going at any time, so he kind of had command all night.”
THIS AND THAT
▪ Miami right fielder Garrett Cooper left the game in the first inning after making a diving catch of a line drive off the bat of Mike Yastrzemski, the Giants’ leadoff hitter. Cooper was diagnosed with a left knee contusion and is listed as day-to-day.
▪ Belt has reached base in each of his past 24 games against the Marlins. … Former University of Florida closer Shaun Anderson worked the ninth for his second big-league save. … The Giants are 35-15 in one-run games. Their 35 one-run wins and .700 winning percentage in one-run games lead the majors. They have five 1-0 victories. … The Marlins have been shut out 22 times this season.
Mattingly on Bochy
Manager Bruce Bochy is retiring after this season, his 13th with the Giants after 12 with the Padres. Before Friday’s game, Mattingly paid tribute to Bochy.
“Boch is awesome,” Mattingly said. “He’s just one of those guys, managing against him, you absolutely know that you’re not going to catch him off guard. …
“Guys like Boch, they set the bar. Boch and Tony [La Russa] and Jimmy Leyland, [Buck] Showalter. … There are a lot of guys that I enjoy [managing against] because they make you have to be better. They make me want to get better. So, those are the kind of guys you love managing against.”
Friday night’s victory left Bochy three shy of 2,000 wins for his managing career.