Arraez’s 5-for-5 night bails out bad Alcantara.
Were you worried about Luis Arraez? Never worry about Luis Arraez. “La Regadera” snapped his streak of 15 hitless at-bats by going a flawless 5-for-5 on Friday, putting the Miami Marlins offense on his back en route to a 6-5 win over the Washington Nationals.
Were you worried about Sandy Alcantara? If so, this outing did nothing to assuage your concerns (5.1 IP, 10 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR). Alcantara had more hard-hit balls allowed than swinging strikes. His 4.97 earned run average remains the highest among all current Marlins starting pitchers.
This was the first time in 2023 that Alcantara already had a lead before taking the mound. Jesus Sanchez drove in a pair of runs off of Trevor Williams with an opposite-field single. Alcantara squandered that 2-0 lead immediately, but Arraez restored the Miami advantage with an improbable two-run homer. The only other tater he’s had as a Marlin came on April 11 as part of his historic cycle.
However, Alcantara continued to struggle. Alex Call took the frustrated right-hander deep in the bottom of the first on a four-seam fastball. Alcantara barely threw that pitch for the remainder of the game. Problem is, he wasn’t locating his sinker with much precision and the Nats weren’t whiffing on his secondary stuff.
These clubs were tied entering the eighth inning. Garrett Cooper stepped to the plate with two on and two out as a pinch-hitter for Jacob Stallings. Carl Edwards Jr. induced a ground ball, but CJ Abrams couldn’t handle it cleanly. Yuli Gurriel busted his ass from second to home and although Abrams’ throw beat him to the plate, the ball popped out of Keibert Ruiz’s glove.
Per usual, the Marlins bullpen was superb. Andrew Nardi stranded two of Alcantara’s baserunners in the sixth and authored a scoreless seventh. Tanner Scott took the mound next and retired the side in order in the eighth. A.J. Puk handled the ninth to earn the save.
- The Marlins are 4-0 against the Nats this season and 19-4 in their head-to-head matchups dating back to 2022.
- It could’ve been a more comfortable victory had the Marlins not grounded into three double plays. They continue to lead the league in that category with 75.
- Arraez joins Juan Pierre (2005) as the only Marlins players to have multiple five-hit games within a single season.
- Scott has had 16 straight scoreless appearances (15.2 IP), entrenching himself as Puk’s main setup man.
Skip Schumaker’s Postgame Press Conference
The Marlins and Nats continue their series on Saturday at 4:05 p.m. ET. Probable starters are left-hander Braxton Garrett and right-hander Jake Irvin (who I’ve frankly never seen pitch in a game before).