New York- This season’s case for National League Cy Young is just about closed. Miami Marlins right-hander Sandy Alcántara has proven he’s the top candidate each and every outing. On Monday night, the Azua D.R. native continued his mastery on the mound against Juan Soto, Manny Machado and the San Diego Padres. In dominant fashion, Alcántara finished the night pitching seven scoreless innings, while allowing just 4 hits, and two walks.
“We thought he was at six innings tonight. We didn’t think he’d get to seven and all of a sudden he had the quick innings,” stated Marlins manager Don Mattingly. “It allowed him to go back out there in the 7th inning. He was on a short rope… but obviously it’s Sandy. I always feel like he’s the best guy.”
Alcántara totaled seven strikeouts to carry Miami in the 3-0 victory over San Diego. Overall, with 108 pitches on the night, he tallied 77 for strikes. “They were aggressive with me tonight and I was competing, throwing my best stuff,” said Alcántara during the postgame.
The 26-year-old lowered his season ERA from a 2.01 to a 1.92 leading to his 11th win of the year. “The second half divides the men from the boys,” Alcántara stated. “I feel just as strong as I did at the beginning of the season.”
The crowd at LoanDepot Park was heard from throughout the night, a majority to see the Dominican elite superstar headline. Coming into the series opener, the main attraction was the battle of Alcántara facing off against the 6-time All Star, Machado (Miami, Florida), and the 2021 NL LatinoMVP Soto (Santo Domingo, D.R.). With 9,123 in attendance, several fans represented Alcántara by waving Dominican Republic-themed K signs for each strikeout thrown.
Machado and Soto combined for two hits with a strikeout, a walk and a fielder’s choice against Alcántara. ”He’s a great pitcher. He threw his stuff and at the end of the day, it didn’t go our way,” said Soto during the postgame.
Machado, who is of Dominican family descent, recently paired with Soto and Alcántara in forming a future star-studded trio. Earlier in the month, the three announced their participation in the Dominican Republic’s chase for the 2023 World Baseball Classic title. The worldwide tournament will take place next year from March 8th-21st. The star-studded trio of Soto, Machado, and Alcántara will be led by the Dominican Republic’s National Team manager Rodney Linares.
To refresh on his Cy Young season. Miami’s flamethrower picks up right where he left off every five days. In 17 of his 24 outings this year, Alcántara has gone for 7 or more innings pitched (3 complete games).
The durable mechanisms out of Alcántara have become everyday storylines. He leads starting pitchers across MLB in innings pitched by an impressive margin. Alcántara has fired 173 IP on the year; second in the category is Phillies right hander Aaron Nola with a total of 152.2 IP.
To put into perspective the masterclass season from Alcántara, let’s go a bit further. The 2021 National League Cy Young award winner Milwaukee Brewers right hander Corbin Burnes finished last season with 167 innings pitched. We are entering mid-August and Alcántara has already passed the feat set out by Burnes last year.
With Monday’s outing, Alcántara entered the precipice among the most notable pitchers in Marlins franchise history. He recorded his eighth outing of the year with at least seven innings pitched and zero earned runs. There’s now only three pitchers in the Marlins history to accomplish the feat.
Marlins Pitchers to complete 8 or more outings with at least 7 IP and 0 ER in a given season
Franchise Leader: Dontrelle Willis (2005) – 9 Outings
Tied 2nd: Jose Fernández (2016) – 8 Outings
Tied 2nd: Sandy Alcántara (2022) – 8 Outings
The Marlins stand 15-9 this year in starts with their ace on the bump. Opponents are batting .197 against Alcántara which ranks 3rd across the National League and ties 6th in MLB. All in all, this season’s NL Cy Young discussion begins and ends with Sandy Alcántara.
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Robert Rizzo writes for Latino Sports
Follow on Twitter: @RobertRiz994
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