Miami, Florida –Β Sandy Alcantara struggled with his command as the Miami Marlins fell 5-1 to Max Scherzer and the Nationals splitting the four-game series. Fans were treated to an expected pitcher’s duel with both teams trading runs early. Washington broke out the lumber using the longball to carry the day in the sixth, allowing Scherzer to get the win. Miami was unable to produce at the plate going 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, stranding eight.

Alcantara tossed over five innings giving up five runs (four earned) on six hits. Scherzer was a lot smoother, ringing up seven keeping the bats under control. The 36-year-old righty went six deep before the bullpen took over. The Fish are now 33-44 with an even 18-18 record at home.

No Sugar Kings Magic

Things got off to a bit of a rocky start. Jon Berti committed a fielding error while Alcantara walked Juan Soto to put two men on. Josh Bell popped out moving Kyle Schwarber to third, setting up a Josh Harrison RBI single as the Nats drew first blood.

Miami quickly responded.

For the second consecutive game, Jazz Chisholm Jr. hit a leadoff triple. Jazzy was driven home via an RBI double from JesΓΊs Aguilar. The Marlins carried the momentum to the top of the second. After Alex Avila doubled to lead off the inning, Sandy spun around and picked him off in an excellent defensive move.

The Fish tried to get something cooking in the fourth. Jorge Alfaro laced a two-out single followed by another base hit from Berti, the former advanced all to way to third on the hit and run play. Berti then moved into scoring position with his sixth steal of the year but Alcantara grounded out softly to Scherzer. Yeah, the National League needs to allow the DH.

Trea Turner broke the deadlock in the sixth, taking Alcantara DEEP for his 12th homer of the season to put the Nats ahead 3-1. Washington went yard again, this time from Bell, his 11th, adding two more. Sandy would not last beyond the inning. He was pulled for Adam Cimber.

It was all the support Scherzer needed. The Marlins only recorded one hit (and three walks) from the sixth inning onwards spoiling what little opportunities they were given.

Did You Know

Chisholm is the first player to hit a leadoff triple in consecutive games since Charlie Blackmon on April 22-23, 2017 for the Colorado Rockies. Blackmon pulled it off against the San Francisco Giants. Jazzy is now the second Marlins player to triple to lead off a game in consecutive games. Who did it first? Jose Reyes on June 11-12, 2012 against the Boston Red Sox.

Photo | Danis Sosa

So-So

I was really hoping for a series win but these days it’s okay to settle for the split. The Fish (briefly) found their spark and managed to even out with the Washington Nationals thanks to some great pitching from both Zach Thompson and the bullpen. There were great defensive stops but the long ball killed them. Miami went 2-4 on the six-game homestand. The fish will enjoy a day off Monday before venturing out on a six-game road trip. They will go visit the Phillies and Braves. The Marlins are playing the Los Angeles Dodgers after the fourth of July, so some wins are needed. Badly.

Truthfully, I thought the Nats series would’ve gone worse but I was pleasantly surprised. I think the Sugar Kings jerseys gave us the necessary push. Sandy Alcantara struggling was no bueno but the lack of run support demanded near perfection from him. Even the elite have bad days. The next Marlins home game will allow full capacity for the fans, the first time since 2019. Here’s hoping for better days.

Game Notes

Sandy Alcantara: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 2 HR

The one through five hitters were a combined 3-for-18 Sunday afternoon

Both Starling Marte and Miguel Rojas went hitless

Washington scored five runs on six hits committing no errors

Miami scored one run six hits committing two errors

Kyle Schwarber reached base twice on fielding errors: Jon Berti (fielding) and Jazz Chisholm (throwing)

Photo | Danis Sosa

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SoccerShape
Gabriel Garcia
Just an avid sports fan who happens to have a love-hate (mostly love) relationship with his local teams be it collegiate or professional and also happens to be a news junkie. Mix in outstanding optimism with cold realism and you've got yourself a balanced cocktail perfect for champions.

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