MO2 overview: Takeaways from the Marlins’ series win at Milwaukee

MO2 overview: Takeaways from the Marlins’ series win at Milwaukee


Sandy Alcantara goes seven innings, and Jesus Aguilar goes deep again. The Marlins pitch and get big hits to beat the Brewers, closing out a series in which they were struck by injuries

By Joe Frisaro @ManOn2nd

The day started with the Marlins announcing their sparkplug second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. was heading to the 10-day injured list, and Isan Diaz was being recalled from the alternate training site.

How would Miami respond to being without one of their top young players?

It didn’t take long for right-hander Sandy Alcantara to provide some answers. The Marlins’ ace was on point from the beginning, giving up two runs in seven innings in a 6-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers at American Family Field.

Kolten Wong connected on a two-run homer off Alcantara in the third inning, but that was it.

Diaz, getting the start in place of Jazz at second base, provided some quality plate appearances. In a sloppy second inning defensively for the Brewers, Diaz’s slow roller scored Jon Berti from first.

Credited with an RBI, Diaz was interfered with by Brewers’ pitcher Zack Godley, and awarded first base.

A error was charged on Godley. Miami capitalized again in the inning, with Berti scoring on Godley’s wild pitch.

Handed the early two-run lead, Alcantara did the rest. Aguilar smashed a three-run homer with two outs, and Miami wasn’t seriously threatened after that.

Big picture, the Marlins took two of three in the series, and now are 3-4 during this taxing, three-city, 10-game road trip.

The Marlins are off on Thursday before finishing up the road trip with three games at Washington.

There’s plenty of topics to unpack from this series in Milwaukee, and here’s some things that caught MO2’s eye.

Jazz and Isan: With Chisholm out, it’s an opportunity for Diaz to make his mark.

First, the injury update. Chisholm is on the IL with a left hamstring strain.

Manager Don Mattingly said the team will be “cautious” but there is optimism Jazz could be back quickly. Fingers crossed. But let’s wait and see, and make sure everything is good to go.

At least two weeks could be minimal.

The Marlins appear confident that the hamstring isn’t too serious. Rest is recommended for about five days, and then the speedy infielder will be re-evaluated.

It’s encouraging that the team believes the strain is on the mild side. But hamstrings are tricky, and Chisholm relies so heavily on his legs. His speed and athleticism are big parts of his game. Remember, he tweaked his hamstring on Tuesday in the first inning while stealing second base.

And he reached that inning on an infield single on a routine grounder to short.

With hamstrings, it’s important to play it safe. So, we’ll see how Jazz responds.

As for Diaz, this is an important time for him.

In Spring Training, the second base competition was between Chisholm and Diaz. Once the club decided on Jazz, Isan was optioned to the alternate training site in Jacksonville. He had been on the road trip in San Francisco, working out with the taxi squad. Now, the left-handed hitting second baseman will get a chance playing regularly, at least for a few weeks, or at minimum, 10 days.

Jesus Aguilar: The 30-year-old first baseman has been the club’s MVP (position player wise) this year. He’s been the club’s most dependable hitter, and is plenty solid first base. Quite frankly, Aguilar is carrying the offense right now. He has homered in five of six games, and has 11 RBIs during the road trip. For the season, he has 22 RBIs.

The Marlins, in the words of Mattingly, are “treading water” right now. They’re 11-13 on the season, and hanging in there at a time several key players are on the injured list.

Even Wednesday, Garrett Cooper fouled a ball off his left foot, and Corey Dickerson is experiencing discomfort in his groin.

An X-ray on Cooper came back negative, which is good news. Both veterans were replaced early in the game on Wednesday. We’ll see if they’re ready to go on Friday. The day off comes at a good time.

Through all the injuries, Aguilar has been the constant.

Sandy Alcantara: Alcantara continues to do his part, and that is assume the role of an ace.

On Wednesday, he wasn’t overpowering or dominant, other than he had his fastball reach 100 mph. He struck out four and didn’t walk a batter.

What the Marlins need right now from their starters are innings. Alcantara going seven innings in the finale with the Brewers was crucial, because the bullpen picked up five innings the night before. Now with the off day on Thursday, the ‘pen should be rested for Washington.

For the season, Alcantara has thrown 36 2/3 innings, second only to Clayton Kershaw (37 2/3) of the Dodgers among all MLB starters.

The innings leaderboard will shift all the time because not every top starter is lined up on the same day. But it is telling that Alcantara already is tracking towards 200 for the season. If he could reach that, it would be huge.

Brian Anderson: On the 10-day IL with an oblique strain, third baseman Brian Anderson is making steady progress. He took grounders at third base pregame on Wednesday, and appears to be moving around nicely.

Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald provided some video.

With Chisholm, Starling Marte and Jorge Alfaro also on the IL, it will be big to get Anderson’s bat back in the middle of the order soon. Berti has been filling in at third, and doing his part. The team is hopeful Anderson will return in a few days.


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