Marlins send All-Star Sandy Alcantara to the mound tonight

CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 24: Sandy Alcantara #22 of the Miami Marlins pitches against the Cleveland Indians during the first inning at Progressive Field on April 24, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - APRIL 24: Sandy Alcantara #22 of the Miami Marlins pitches against the Cleveland Indians during the first inning at Progressive Field on April 24, 2019 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /
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Can the Marlins Sanday Alcantara use tonight’s game against the Washington Nationals as a springboard to a successful second half of the 2019 season?

If Sandy Alcantara is going to take the next step in proving that he can be the ace of this Miami Marlins pitching staff, it needs to start tonight. His task is to take down the Washington Nationals.

The team’s only player to be chosen for the 2019 All-Star game in Cleveland next week, faces the Nationals after they lost 3-2 in walk-off fashion last night. The game was also delayed 76 minutes last night due to rain.

Currently, the 23-year-old is 4-7 this season, but owns a 3.86 ERA and has struck out 65 batters this season.

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Alcantara began the season as Miami’s No. 4 starter. He has proven to be durable and has given the team some of the best performances on the mound this season. This is the second time he will face the Nationals in 2019.  He and Trevor Richards are the two remaining starters in the Marlins rotation that was established prior to Opening Day at the end of March.

It was not a smooth ride for Alcantara last Thursday when he faced Washington as he gave up three home runs in six innings. The first five innings showed more of the aggressiveness on the mound the Marlins coaching staff wants to see. The sixth inning, however, was his undoing.

The Nationals homered off his twice in the inning, spelling the end of any chance of him earning the victory.

Washington counters with Stephen Strasburg who is 9-4 this season with a 3.88 ERA. He has also struck out 124 batters this season. When he faced the Marlins on Thursday night and got the win, it capped the 12th straight time the Nationals have won a game against Miami with the big righthander on the mound.

As a side note: The Marlins will not have third baseman Brian Anderson in the lineup tonight.

Anderson suffered a contusion to his elbow last night while trying to make a play on one Soto’s home run in the first inning of a 3-2 loss.  He was taken into the clubhouse following the injury. X-rays were negative. He will be reevaluated today to determine if he will be in the lineup.

Yadiel Rivera came in to replace Anderson.

Anderson is being replaced by veteran Neil Walker, who will hit cleanup. Garrett Cooper is in the lineup at first base and is third in the batting order.

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