Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara has already established that he’s one of baseball’s biggest workhorses. We’ve taken note of that multiple times, and he’s even on my All-Fun team because of it. Yet on Wednesday night in St. Louis, Alcantara took things to another level.
To set the scene, the Marlins actually trailed the Cardinals, 3-2, heading to the ninth inning. Alcantara was still in the game and looked to be in line for one of those eight-inning complete games where he takes the loss. But Avisail Garcia hit a two-run homer to give the Marlins the lead, 4-3.
In the bottom of the frame, Alcantara took the mound to bring it home for his team. He got a groundout before a walk and single put him in quite the predicament.
Now, bear in mind that Alcantara was at 115 pitches. He’d allowed three runs, two earned, on seven hits. With that stat line in the bottom of the ninth inning, the tying run on second and the winning run on first, I’m not sure any other pitcher in 2022 remains on the mound after a visit from his manager.
Alcantara did. And you can see him convincing Don Mattingly to leave him in:
On the second pitch to the next batter, a game-ending double play:
Note that Alcantara pointed toward Mattingly in the dugout, as if to say thanks and “I got you.”
This was just the 13th complete game of the season. Alcantara has two of them, he’s the only pitcher in the league with more than one and he also threw nine innings in a third outing that just happened to go to extras and cost him in the CG category.
It isn’t just the workload, either. In racking up so many more recorded outs than anyone else, he’s also pitched to a 1.95 ERA and 0.95 WHIP.
Alcantara should be named the All-Star Game starter in a few weeks. He’s the frontrunner for NL Cy Young. His performance Wednesday night — both with his pitching and persuasion skills — were only the latest evidence.