On Sunday afternoon at Marlins Park, with 7,559 in attendance, Sandy Alcantara tossed eight innings of shutout ball.
Sandy Alcantara threw the first pitch at 1:10 P.M. EST, and Sergio Romo earned his first save of the season two hours and 32 minutes later when he got Ryan McMahon to pop out in foul territory to Miami Marlins third baseman Brian Anderson. Between those two pitches, 222 other ones were thrown. Only 10 of them resulted in safe base-hits, with five for each team.
The Miami Marlins won their second-straight game to earn a season-opening split against their expansion cousin Colorado Rockies. The two teams will decide their season series in Coors Field on August 16th, 17th, and 18th.
Starting Pitching Continues to Impress
After a suboptimal Opening Day outing by staff “ace” José Ureña, The Miami Marlins rotation has strung together three straight decent starts. On Friday, Trevor Richards put 52-of-81 over the plate, allowing four hits and two walks over six innings for a Quality Start in an eventual 6-1 loss to Colorado. Richards struck out four.
On Saturday, Pablo López failed to get a Quality Start, but he did earn the first Miami Marlins win of the season by going 5 1/3 innings and allowing three runs on five hits while striking out seven. López didn’t walk anyone, once again.
Alcantara put together the best outing yet in today’s contest. He tossed 92 pitches over eight innings of work, plating 66 of them and surrendering only four hits. Alcantara kept the Rockies scoreless, struck out six, and also pitched in with a base hit in the fifth inning.
When to use Chen?
Wei-Yin Chen was brought in for his first appearance of the season in the ninth inning, and on his third pitch surrendered a double to Charlie Blackmon. After a six-pitch plate appearance resulted in a walk to David Dahl, Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly brought in Romo to end the mad experiment.
There’s no room in the rotation for Chen, and with outings like this, there is no room in the bullpen for him either. There isn’t an organization with a GM crazy enough to trade for his well-below-replacement level production and exorbitant contract, and the Marlins would have to eat $42 million with nothing to show for it to release Chen.
But release Chen they must. It’s a travesty to keep Chen on the roster and hold someone at triple-A back just because they’re paying him. Dylan Lee, Jarlin Garcia, Elieser Hernandez, Jose Quijada, Zac Gallen, Jordan Yamamoto, or Nick Neidert would better serve the Marlins today than Chen.
After losing the first two games of this year by scores of 6-3 and 6-1, the Miami Marlins have now nearly leveled their Pythagorean Win Expectancy, with 14 runs scored and 15 runs allowed. With production like this, can the Marlins count on competing for a better-than-60 win season? Only time will tell, but that’s why they play the games, right?
Hit and Run
JT Riddle‘s seventh inning homer off Jon Gray was, of course, an empty bag moonshot. That’s now five total RBI on five homers this season for the Miami Marlins. Jorge Alfaro pitched in with Miami’s other two RBI, on a fourth-inning single that would, in hindsight, be all that the Marlins would need. Also, don’t look now, but Riddle is on pace for an MLB record 81 homers this season. Just saying.
More from Marlins News
- Why didn’t the Miami Marlins sign JDM?
- Miami Marlins rejected Boston‘s trade offer
- Miami Marlins are pursuing Michael Conforto
- Miami Marlins need to spend to win
- Miami Marlins can’t afford to botch this trade
The Miami Marlins also combined for 11 strikeouts in the game, led by Lewis Brinson‘s three whiffs in three plate appearances. Walker, Alcantara, and just-arrived right fielder Peter O’Brien each struck out twice each.
In the base-stealing game, Miami made good on their promise to attempt more stolen bases than they have in the past. Walker stole his first base since 2016, and Rosell Herrera took his first bag of the season after getting caught stealing on Friday.
Thanks for reading today. Keep up with the Miami Marlins with us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our daily newsletter.