Angels Became the Next Victim of Alcantara’s Dominant Run

Miami, FL – The Los Angeles Angels are visiting Miami for the first time since 2017. Since their first matchup in 2003, the Angels have the upper hand in the head-to-head battle against the Miami Marlins with an 11-6 record. Miami is hosting a two-game series against the Angels. Both teams played two games at LA on Miami’s first road trip of the season. On April 11 and 12, the Angels won both games against Miami and outscored them 10-5.

Both teams have changed a lot since mid-April. The Angels fired their manager, Joe Maddon, after a 12-game losing streak and the Marlins have clawed their way back into the wild card conversation. The Angels were without their interim manager, Phil Nevin, who is serving a 10-game suspension after their brawl with the Seattle Mariners last week.

Nonetheless, the Angels still have Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, two transcendent talents. They and the rest of the Angels’ lineup were tasked with facing arguably the best pitcher in Major League Baseball, Sandy Alcantara. Los Angeles did not face Alcantara in April and maybe dodged a bullet since he has dominated for the last two months of the season.

Sandman Tucked the Angels to Bed

Alcantara picked up right where he left off from his previous outing. Last week in St. Louis, Alcantara pitched his second complete game of the season. In the first inning against the Angels, Alcantara struck out Jonathan Villar, and Trout, and got Ohtani to ground out. Miami’s ace worked a perfect game into the fifth inning. He retired the first 14 batters he faced and struck out Trout again in his second at-bat.

Luis Rengifo singled with two outs in the fifth for LA’s first hit. That was no bother for Sandy as he was left on base stranded after Max Stassi struck out. After the fifth inning, the Marlins had a 2-0 lead and that was plenty of run support for Alcantara. Trout did respond with a single in his third at-bat against Alcantara, but that was only the second and final hit he surrendered.

Los Angeles definitely had their hands full all night while Alcantara was on the mound. His velocity and movement was a problem for the Angels all game. Even after passing 100 pitches, Alcantara was still hitting triple digits with his fastball. He racked up 10 strikeouts in his eight innings and did not give up a walk.

This is the second time this season that Sandy collects 10 K’s in an outing. Alcantara’s pitch count was at 107 after he completed the eighth but manager, Don Mattingly, decided to turn things over to their closer, Tanner Scott. This outing marks the 11th consecutive start where Alcantara goes at least seven innings. He is the definition of a workhorse and ace.

All-Star Sandy

Alcantara’s masterful outing gives Miami their sixth win in a row and now they are only one game under .500. This performance is just more proof as to why Sandy should be named the starting pitcher for the National League in the All-Star Game.

Alcantara will have one more start before the first half concludes. After their two games against LA, Miami will travel to New York this weekend to take on the Mets. They are in first place in the NL East division and a strong start against New York will only solidify Sandy’s case even more. It is an absolute thrill to watch him pitch and the rest of the baseball world deserves to watch him in the midsummer classic.

Photo | Andrés Bolívar

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