On Tuesday afternoon, the Miami Marlins played their 11th contest of Spring Training.
With 2,763 in attendance at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium, and a partly cloudy 75° day, the Miami Marlins and the New York Mets played a game that didn’t really matter.
Not in the standings, anyway. For those roughly 70 players trying to stay with the parent club into the MLB Opening Day, these games really do matter.
At 1:09 P.M, EST, Miami Marlins starter Sandy Alcantara threw his first pitch to Mets leadoff hitter, designated hitter Brandon Nimmo. Nimmo eventually grounded out, 4-3. Nine innings of “eventful” baseball was then played over the next three hours and 22 minutes.
Nobody could really hit Alcantara; he allowed only one hit during his 3 2/3 innings of work, a third inning single to Dilson Herrera. Unfortunately, Alcantara also had trouble finding the zone. He struck out three, but also ended up issuing four free passes.
Here’s four other things that we noticed in the Miami Marlins 3-1 victory against the New York Mets.
Peter O’Brien is Still Missing the Ball
Peter O’Brien is having trouble putting the ball in play, and that’s putting it mildly. In 19 Spring Training plate appearances, O’Brien has collected a single, a double, a walk, a run, and struck out 10 times.
Striking out isn’t a new phenomenon for the well-traveled O’Brien, who has appeared in the affiliated systems of the New York Yankees, the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Texas Rangers, the Kansas City Royals, the Cincinnati Reds, and the Marlins since graduating from the University of Miami after the 2012 collegiate season. He’s struck out 29 percent of the time over 743 minor league contests, and also hit 164 home runs. It’s an even more jarring figure of 35.3 percent strikeouts with 10 homers, in 58 major league games.
Nobody’s Perfect, the the Miami Marlins Bullpen Looked Pretty Good
No, they weren’t even close to perfect, but the trio of Riley Ferrell, Jarlin Garcia, and Jose Quijada kept the Mets scoreless over their 3 1/3 combined innings, racking up four strikeouts, three hits allowed, and no walks.
Ferrell relieved Alcantara after the 6’4″ righty surrendered his fourth walk of the game, and promptly struck out Devin Mesoraco to erase the threat. Ferrell stayed on to pitch the fifth, and gave up a hit and struck another batter out.
Garcia pitched the eighth, and earned the win after giving up one hit and striking out a batter. Quijada earned a save after repeating the trick in the ninth. In fact, the only Marlins pitcher in this game to get scored on was highly regarded prospect Jordan Yamamoto, who surrendered two hits and two walks for one run over two frames.
Defense Wins – and Loses Games
The Miami Marlins defense has been better-than-average for years, with constant access to the Perry Hill Infield System. With Hill dismissed following last season, new infield coach Trey Hillman has his chance to mold the Marlins surrounding the pitcher’s mound. Isan Diaz was charged with an error in this game, but the Mets showed what truly bad defense can do to a good-hitting team.
The Mets committed five, count ’em five errors in this game. The flubs contributed to all three Miami Marlins runs being scored. This resulted in three runs given up, but all unearned. That’s no way to lose a game. The Marlins would be wise to avoid the Mets infield model.
Anderson, Alfaro Hit Safely Twice Each
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Brian Anderson continued his hot start to the spring, with a pair of hits. He connected on a first inning double and later added a third inning one-out single. Anderson was replaced defensively and in the batting order by Yadiel Rivera going into the seventh, before the Marlins got on the board.
Alfaro, who missed the eight games directly following the opener due to a bruised knee, was 0-for-1 in his re-debut yesterday. In today’s game, Alfaro collected two singles in two plate appearances before getting lifted for pinch-runner Isaac Galloway in the fourth inning. More of this, please.
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