MO2 overview: Marlins turn tables on Braves with late rally
The Braves have made a habit of frustrating the Marlins, especially at Truist Park. But on Monday, it was Miami’s turn to pull off some late and extra-innings heroics in a comeback victory. Man On Second weighs in on the spotlight performances.
By Joe Frisaro @ManOn2nd
The Marlins have had more than their share of frustrating finishes at Atlanta’s Truist Park.
On Monday night, Miami flipped the script, and rallied to a 5-3 victory in extra innings against the Braves.
Garrett Cooper delivered the game-tying two-run double in the eighth inning, and the go-ahead RBI single in the 10th. Brian Anderson collected a run-scoring double in the 10th inning, and the Marlins have now won two in a row for the first time this season.
Adam Duvall, facing his former team, homered in his first at-bat.
Now 3-6 on the season, the Marlins are showing signs of getting their footing early in the season. This is big, because they don’t want to fall too far back this early. And their starting pitching continues to keep them in games.
The Marlins have now won two of three in their seven-game road trip, which started off last Thursday with a controversial loss at the Mets on Michael Conforto’s disputed walk-off hit by pitch.
Breaking down Monday’s win at Atlanta, here’s what caught Man On Second’s eye:
RHP Sandy Alcantara, 6 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 3 BB, 4 Ks:
Alcantara was bringing the heat. Due to Friday’s scheduled day off, the 25-year-old ace was given an extra day of rest. What we noticed was, a fresher Alcantara was a harder-throwing Alcantara. According to Statcast, Sandy threw 10 pitches 99 mph (not rounded up) or higher. His four-seamer maxed at 99.9 mph, and he averaged 98.1 mph on that pitch. His sinker topped at 99.2 mph.
Alcantara flirted with 100 mph against Ozzie Albies, coming oh so close at 99.9 mph.
I know what you might be thinking, so what? Everyone throws hard these days, right? Well, not exactly this hard.
Entering Monday, Alcantara is the only Marlins pitcher, per Statcast, to reach 99 mph or more. Again, not rounded up. Actually, 99 and above.
Prior to Monday, Alcantara reached at least 99 mph four times in his first two starts. No other Marlins pitcher has touched that high of velocity this year.
Not many did a year ago, either. In fact, Alcantara did not have one single pitch reach at least 99 mph in 2020, per Statcast. Just two Marlins did in the shortened 60-game season. Sixto Sanchez did it 68 times, and reliever Johan Quezada did it once.
Keeping Sandy as fresh as possible is important for the Marlins over the course of the long season. As Alcantara keeps building arm strength, it will be interesting to see if, or when, he reaches that elusive 100 mph plateau.
2B Jazz Chisholm Jr., 1×3, 2B, BB:
The quality of the at-bats keep getting better for Jazz Chisholm Jr. The 23-year-old is recognizing what clubs are doing with him.
Clubs have been attacking him up in the zone with high velocity. Last Saturday, Jazz was ready, and he delivered a home run off Jacob deGrom’s elevated 100 mph fastball.
The Braves threw Jazz a bunch of sliders on Monday. They threw one too many to him, and he doubled in the seventh inning off Luke Jackson.
MO2 liked how Jazz tracked those breaking balls, and then laced a double. You can see the video clip in the tweet below. The exit velocity was of the two-base hit was 111.7 mph.
1B Garrett Cooper, 3×5, 2B, 3 RBIs:
Coop had been struggling a bit, and on Monday, he got the start at first base with Jesus Aguilar getting the day off. After striking out his first two times up, Cooper had what MO2 felt was a big moment. In his third at-bat, he simply put the ball in play and was rewarded was an infield single.
So often, all it takes is some sort of success. It can be one soft single that gets a player back on track. In the eighth inning, Cooper ripped a two-run double, with an exit speed of 106.8 mph. The hit tied the game at 3. And in the 10th inning, Cooper’s single to center gave Miami the lead for good.
RHP Yimi Garcia, 1 1/3 IP, 1 BB, 1 K:
Now in the closer role, Yimi drew a tough assignment, entering in the ninth inning with two on and two outs. He faced Ronald Acuna Jr., and eventually walked him to load the bases for Albies, who grounded to first to end the inning. After the Marlins grabbed a two-run lead in the 10th, Garcia retired in order, Freddie Freeman (groundout to short), Marcell Ozuna (strikeout) and Dansby Swanson (groundout to short) to end it.