With all the hoopla of a new season combined with the pageantry and optimism of Opening Day, It is perhaps easy to overreact to another season starting 0-1….The Marlins after all are now just 2-10 in season openers over the last 12 year.
Sandy Alcantara didn't have a good start.
Preseason concerns that were seen in spring games were also evident. Jazz Chisholm Jr’s defence at CF is still a work in progress and the offense was lacking, through 5 innings Max Scherzer faced only 1 batter over the minimum. Additionally the Marlins who preached contact all off-season struck out 12 times compared to just 2 walks!
Talking of walks, Sandy Alcantara was uncharacteristically wild walking 4 including 2 lead off walks. Defence from an unlikely source would come to Alcantara’s aid.
Garrett Cooper is not known for his mobility, arguably more suited as a DH especially with his injury woes. However, Cooper looked like a gold glover at first base. Diving to his left and to his right to stop shots that had an XBa of .620 and .290 respectively. In the ninth inning Coop had a nice play on a ground ball off the bat of Brandon Nimmo that had broadcaster Tommy Hutton calling him Coop-a-Scoop. Cooper also saved the team on offence, following a lengthy AB against Scherzer in the 4th he then took him deep in the 6th to tie the game 3-3.
There ends the positives, after Andrew Nardi finished the 6th with 2 pitches. Tanner Scott entered the 7th and proceeded to give up 2 runs on 2 hits and a walk. A lead the Mets would maintain.
An inauspicious start for the Marlins then but that is the point, it’s just the start. Overreactions are rife nowadays but baseball’s beauty is that it’s a marathon. There’s a game the next day and 160 more after that. Whilst some concerns are justified, there’re a seasons worth of games for it to play out.
So we end as we started with Alcantara, should we worry about this one start and the walks?
Of course not, let’s not forget that Alcantara walked 5 in his first start last year and ended the year as the CY Young award winner.
There are some issues with this team as there are with any team and some of them may force changes sooner rather than later.
The last thing fans should worry about though is Sandy.