The Miami Marlins and the Cleveland Indians closed their mini-series at Progressive Field with a 6-2 Tribe victory.
Sandy Alcantara started for the Miami Marlins, and pitched well enough to keep them in it. He walked four and allowed four hits, but only two crossed the plate over his five innings of work. He put 48-of-84 in the strike zone to earn no-decision with 13,046 in attendance. Here’s four things to take to the bank.
The Quijada Era Begins
It’s Jose Quijada‘s sixth season as a professional ballplayer, all with the Miami Marlins system. Today, he became the 576th player to take the field for at least one at bat or batter faced in the 27-season history of the Marlins.
Quijada has a 2.81 career ERA over 259 1/3 minor league innings pitched, with 17 saves and 290 strikeouts. His 1.076 WHIP is notably above average, especially considering that the figure is more-or-less level across all stops in the Marlins system.
Today, Quijada made his major league debut in the sixth inning with Cleveland leading by a 2-1 margin, and struck out the first batter he faced, Jason Kipnis. Kipnis swung through a 92 MPH slider on a 1-2 pitch to welcome Quijada to the bigs. Kevin Plawecki doubled on Quijada’s very next pitch, then took third on a wild pitch. Quijada then struck out Jake Bauers on another 1-2 slider. Max Moroff followed with a six-pitch walk before Quijada was lifted for Nick Anderson.
After Quijada, Anderson worked 1 1/3 perfect innings, striking two batters out. Anderson’s been a bit of a pleasant surprise for the Miami Marlins in 2019. He’s racked up 22 K’s in just 11 innings while giving up three runs on nine hits. He’s walked two, but they were both intentional.
Anderson was relieved in turn by starter turned reliever Adam Conley. Conley walked Carlos Gonzalez to lead off the eighth, then allowed a Kipnis single. Plawecki bunted out, then Bauers singled CarGo home, followed by a Moroff strikeout.
Tayron Guerrero then came in to relieve Conley, and wasn’t any better. He surrendered an RBI-single to Francisco Lindor, hit Leonys Martin with a pitch and gave up a two-run double to Jose Ramirez. He got Carlos Santana to fly out to end the inning.
Lewis Brinson has struck out 24 times in 71 plate appearances in 2019, just over a third of the time, while hitting .179/.225/.239. This is right on par with his career numbers. Brinson has struck out 161 times in 532 career plate appearances while hitting .188/.237/.319 over parts of three major leagues seasons. Compounding his substandard career figures, Brinson is one-for-27 over the past two weeks, with two walks and 16 strikeouts.
It remains to be seen just how much more playing time Brinson is going to get to work on his issues with pitch recognition. Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly has been saintlike in his patience thus far, but even that seems to be running thin. I wouldn’t be surprised if Brinson ends up taking some time in triple-A with the New Orleans Baby Cakes.
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Martin Prado hit an eighth inning homer for the Miami Marlins. It was Prado’s first of the season, and Miami’s 20th this year. That modest figure ranks the club as the 26th most home run-prolific team in the majors, tied with the San Francisco Giants and ahead of only the Indians, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Detroit Tigers.
Prado only collected one home run in all of 2018, and only two in 2017. He hasn’t been a consistent power threat since 2014, when he hit 12 between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Yankees, however he’s hitting well above his career average. Over his 1,372 major league career, Prado has hit .290, but this year, he’s trucking along at a .320 clip after 18 games.
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