Despite bright spots in the pitching staff, the Miami Marlins continue to slide with losses to the New York Mets in their latest series in the Big Apple.
The Miami Marlins message continues to remain the same. If the team looks toward the future, everything looks bright. If they concentrate on the present, then the landscape looks a bit murky.
That has been evident in the latest series with the New York Mets. In dropping three of four games, the last three in a row, the Marlins are still processing the remaining couple of weeks of the MLB season while assessing the progress of their young pitching staff.
There have been moments that make the organization see the fruits of their plans for the future. There are others, like the 13-0 loss on Wednesday, that make this whole “blueprint” seem like it needs to be scrapped and started over again.
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"“The elements played havoc with Marlins rookie Jeff Brigham getting back on the mound. The right-hander originally was scheduled to pitch Sunday at Pittsburgh and then Monday at the Mets, but rain postponed both of those games, so he was moved to Wednesday, but his part of the doubleheader was washed out,” he wrote."
Brigham is now 0-2 in his only two starts of his career in Miami, but the second stanza surely outweighs the first where he was chased after giving up three runs in three innings.
Alcantara looked solid once again, but did not get a win in his latest outing. He still remains 2-0 this season and a fixture in this rotation for the 2018 season.
"“I was really the human rain delay out there,” Brigham joked about pitching four days later than originally scheduled. “I was supposed to go Sunday, and preparing every single day. Then Monday, the same thing.“I was just happy to get out there for the first time in a while. I was just pounding the strike zone a lot better. I felt I got into a little bit better of a rhythm early on.”"
Alcantara has looked like an ace since he stepped on the mound upon his return to the parent club on Sept. 1. There are still some issues with consistency and control, but a more mature pitcher has played his past few games with better results.
If both Brigham and Alcantara make the most of their opportunities down the stretch, the choices manager Don Mattingly make will become harder. Caleb Smith, Trevor Richards and Pablo Lopez all have claim to making the rotation.
Mattingly said he was impressed with Brigham in his second chance on the mound.
"“He threw the ball better,” Mattingly said of Brigham’s outing compared to his debut. “The ball came out of his hand better. There weren’t misses that were scattered all over the place. He had some well-thrown balls down in the zone"