Miami Marlins Optimistic About 2019 Despite Loss in Finale

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 30: Sandy Alcantara #22 of the Miami Marlins pitches during the second inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on September 30, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 30: Sandy Alcantara #22 of the Miami Marlins pitches during the second inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on September 30, 2018 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /
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Despite losing 1-0 in the season finale to the New York Mets, the Miami Marlins are optimistic about the 2019 season.

It’s hard to imagine being happy with a loss to end your season, but after seeing Miami Marlins starter Sandy Alcantara strike out 10 batters against the New York Mets Sunday afternoon in the season finale, losing does not appear to be as bad as one might think.

It’s been a difficult final week of the MLB season for the Marlins. According to Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald, did something few teams have accomplished this season. Pitching wasn’t the problem for Miami over the final series against the Mets.

Hitters could not put the ball in play or plate runs, which is one of the things that manager Don Mattingly will need to address this offseason and during Spring Training.

The Marlins inability to score has been indicative of how this season has gone. If pitchers have performed above expectations, hitters haven’t done their job. If the team got timely hitting and took leads into the later innings, the bullpen would squander opportunities.

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At some point, something has to give, doesn’t it?

"Sandy Alcantara looked like the ace Miami needs him to be moving forward. After two straight losses, the rookie tossed a gem. As Joe Frisaro wrote, “The rookie aggressively pounded the zone with his four-seam fastball, running it up as high as 98.3 mph.”"

There hasn’t been anything wrong with Alcantara’s fastball this season. Control has been his liability and his consistency was an issue in two straight losses in his last two mound appearances.

The 22-year-old Alcantara finished with a 2-3 record this season, but the numbers are a bit deceiving.

"“Just going out there and being able to pitch this one,” Alcantara said through an interpreter. “Now, I’ve got to carry that over to this winter and continue doing my work to go out there and be the best pitcher I can be.”"

The youngster is the No. 2 prospect for the Marlins in their minor league system and considered their best young pitcher on the roster. There are others to consider as Trevor Richards has shown he can become a front-line starter. Pablo Lopez and Caleb Smith will get long looks as well.

For now, with the end of the season just 24 hours gone, things must settle before the second phase of the organization’s reconstruction can begin.

This was a game that meant nothing in the record books for Miami but meant a great deal to the players, who were managed by J.T. Realmuto in Mattingly’s tradition of letting a player manage the final game of the year.

Having such a strong performance on the mound made it easy for the All-Star catcher to do his job for the day.

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“We had talked about it, it’s his game,” Realmuto said. “It’s his last start of the year. He hadn’t had too many innings on his arm, so we felt like we’d send him out there.”

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