After a no-decision, last week in a start at Cleveland, can Sandy Alcantara and the Miami Marlins win the first game of a two-game series against the AL Central team?
Miami Marlins pitcher Sandy Alcantara deserved a better fate against the Cleveland Indians last week. This week, when he faces the American League Central team, he has a chance to set the table for winning the series. The Marlins have 134 games left on their schedule and would love to kick off a string of wins starting tonight.
Alcantara had a no-decision in his last start, only gave up one run, walked four and struck out one batter. He has been better than last season on the mound but still must work on his consistency and control. Does taking the rubber at home against a team he faced a week ago help him? Possibly.
The Indians will counter with Trevor Bauer who is 3-1 this season with a 1.99 ERA. He has faced Miami once in his career back in 2016.
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If the team is going to win tonight and this series, they must do the following…
Gets hits early and often – While it would seem the team is hitting the ball better these days, it does not mean the Marlins are scoring runs. The team’s pitching hasn’t been as bad as records would indicate because the young arms aren’t getting the run support they need.
Don’t fall behind early – This is a team that has problems playing catch-up. Despite the 12-9 loss over the weekend to Philadelphia where the Marlins were down 10-1 at one point, this is not a team that can come from behind. There is no power in the middle of the order. The young pitchers cannot find a rhythm after surrendered big leads.
Rely on the bullpen when needed – Nick Anderson has been a true gem so far this season, but the bullpen has let them down at key moments this season. Adam Conley must be more consistent. The team also must use Wei-Yin Chen sparingly. Chen did show improvement in his last outing.
News and notes: The team could get outfielder Garrett Cooper back in time for the series tonight against Cleveland. The 28-year-old has been hampered by a calf injury since March 31 of this season.
Can Cooper come in and play right field, the position he won in Spring Training, and deliver some pop in the middle of the batting order?