Hope has been hard to come by for a Marlins team on the verge of a 100-loss season, but that is exactly what rookie pitcher Sandy Alcantara brings to the mound — hope.
Despite the Marlins’ 5-4 loss to the Diamondbacks on Wednesday, the 24-year old right-hander passed former Marlins pitcher Scott Olsen for the most innings pitched by a rookie in club history.
“I feel really good about that,” Alcantara said. “Competing no matter what happens, that’s what I have to do.”
The young Dominican also inched within two strikeouts of tying Jesus Sanchez for the fourth most in Marlins’ history for a rookie.
In Alcantara’s 5 2/3 innings against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday, he threw 103 pitches and 66 strikes.
His 103 pitches are the most he has thrown in a game since early August, when he pitched 7 2/3 innings in the team’s win over the Braves. Alcantara’s 5 2/3 innings on Wednesday were his fewest in a start since Aug. 5.
“I think he was just OK today,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “Took him a while to get to his changeup, a lot of breaking balls early. I thought he was OK.”
Although Alcantara’s season continues to surpass expectations — and records — the desert was anything but kind to the Marlins’ lone 2019 All-Star. Diamondbacks center fielder Abraham Almonte whacked the fourth pitch of the game 437 feet for the game’s first run.
From that point on, Alcantara gave up seven more hits and a total of five runs. The strong-armed young gun was relieved by Josh Smith in the bottom of the sixth, and the team would use four more pitchers to close out the game.
“I just want to go outside and compete the hardest I can,” Alcantara said. “Do the most I can in the game, but you’re going to have bad days and good days, but today was not my day.”
The Marlins’ offense practically disappeared after the fourth inning, leaving the emerging ace with little help in an effort to edge the Diamondbacks in the three-game series. Alcantara is credited with the loss, bringing his record to 5-14.
Although Alcantara’s outing against the Diamondbacks was rather forgettable, he still has one or two starts left before the impressive campaign comes to an end. With those final games ahead, Mattingly said all he hopes to see out of Alcantara is a “couple more good starts” to finish out the year.
History on the Horizon
With the Marlins’ loss to the Diamondbacks on Wednesday the team is now one loss shy of 100. If Miami does manage to hit the 100-loss mark, it will be the second time in the last seven years the franchise will have recorded that many losses.
It would also be the third time in club history the team will have lost 100 games.
Offense in question
While the Marlins failed to win back-to-back games against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the blame falls heavily on an aspect that was so promising just the night before — offense.
Less than 24 hours after scoring 12 runs in a come-from-behind victory, the offense was nowhere to be found after racking up a mere four runs.
Arguably the worst part was that the team was hitting, but left seven runners on base.
Miami has an off-day Thursday before a three-game homestand against the Nationals to wrap up its home games for the season.