Miami Marlins Pitching Gem: Sandy Alcantara’s Second Shutout

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 08: Pitcher Sandy Alcantara of the Miami Marlins throws a pitch against the Kansas City Royals at Marlins Park on September 8, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 08: Pitcher Sandy Alcantara of the Miami Marlins throws a pitch against the Kansas City Royals at Marlins Park on September 8, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images) /
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Sandy Alcantara joined Shane Bieber and Lucas Giolito as the only major league pitchers with two shutouts in 2019.

Sandy Alcantara was solid from start to end in front of 10,934 at Marlins Park, collecting eight strikeouts and surrendering four walks and two hits. The win sets Alcantara’s record at 5-12 for the Miami Marlins this year, with a 4.04 ERA.

A day after the Miami Marlins bullpen let down a solid start from Caleb Smith, the starter of record didn’t give them a chance to mess it up. Alcantara put 74-of-102 over the plate, including 27-of-32 first-pitch strikes for a GameScore of 85. I spoke at length about Alcantara’s season here on Friday. Alcantara’s 0.925 WHIP over his past seven starts is the best stretch of his career. He’s held all opponents to a .145 average since the start of August.

Of course, the only postseason considerations the Miami Marlins are getting at this point is what position they’ll qualify for in the 2020 MLB Amateur Entry Draft, scheduled for the beginning of June. At 51-91, their .359 winning percentage trails everyone else in the major leagues excepting the Detroit Tigers (42-99, .298) and the Baltimore Orioles (46-96, .324). The Kansas City Royals moved two wins up on the Marlins through their shared three-game series, and now sit at 53-91 with a .368 winning percentage.

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MIAMI, FL – SEPTEMBER 08: Starlin Castro of the Miami Marlins hits a solo home run during the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Marlins Park on September 8, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images) /

It didn’t take the Miami Marlins long to get out to a lead. Starlin Castro slammed a one-out homer in the first inning over the left-field fence. It was his 18th of the season, and the only run the Marlins would need. They kept going anyway.

Jorge Alfaro opened the fourth with a single, and Martin Prado followed with another. When Isan Diaz came up with one out and two on, he hit a two-run single, and ended up on third after a throwing error by Whit Merrifield. Lewis Brinson scored Diaz on a single, and Miguel Rojas scored Brinson on a single before getting thrown out at second base.

With the score comfortingly set at 5-0, the Marlins continued to pour it on. Harold Ramirez scored Castro on a ground out, and Brinson drew a bases loaded walk in the fifth to make it a touchdown lead. In the sixth, Castro scored Rojas on a double, then Ramirez drove Castro in in turn with a single to set the final score of 9-0.

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Alcantara’s start wasn’t without a little drama. In the eighth inning, he allowed the Royals to load the bases on a leadoff walk and two one-out singles. He then induced Cheslor Cuthbert into a 6-4-3 double play to end the drama.

Bubba Starling led off the ninth with a comebacker to Alcantara on a broken bat flub. Alcantara had to jump over the shaft of the bat while fielding the ball before dishing it to Prado for the first out. He then closed the game with back-to-back strikeouts of Brett Phillips and Ryan O’Hearn.

Next up for the Miami Marlins is a home start against the Milwaukee Brewers, set for tomorrow night at 7:10 EDT. Robert Dugger (0-1, 4.00) will get the start against Jordan Lyles (10-8, 4.46). To keep up with the Miami Marlins, subscribe to our daily newsletter, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter. As always, thanks for reading.

Next. Caleb Smith's Quality Start Ruined by Bullpen. dark

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