Braves can’t figure out Alcantara, fall 4-3

The Braves were looking for the sweep Sunday at LoanDepot Park, but they ran into Sandy Alcantara. The Marlins pitcher twirled a complete game (they even let him throw 115 pitches), allowing three unearned runs on six hits, two walks and seven strikeouts.

There really isn’t much more to say about this one than that, to be honest. The Braves got a run in the fifth inning largely thanks to a three-base error by center fielder Jesus Sanchez. He ran a long way to get to a ball in deep center, got there and then proceeded to drop the ball. Dansby Swanson popped a one-out single down the right-field line to an area where Miami had no fielders stationed, and it tied the game 1-1 at the time after the Marlins had scratched a run across off Ian Anderson in the first.

Anderson cruised into the sixth after that, but he allowed the go-ahead run in that inning. It was 2-1 going to the bottom of the seventh and the Braves seemingly couldn’t afford to fall behind Alcantara any further. Anderson entered the inning with 92 pitches. Whether or not he stayed in was something of a toss-up decision, and I was frankly happy to see Snit go this way instead of immediately reaching for the bullpen. That’s probably just me. It didn’t work out, in any case. Anderson allowed a leadoff single to Erik Gonzalez, who stole second and reached third on an error, then scored on another single by Jacob Stallings. Snitker lifted Anderson, but the mess continued and the Marlins wrung another run out of it to make it 4-1.

The Braves scored a couple in the ninth, largely helped by a Jesus Aguilar dropped foul error to extend the at-bat of Travis d’Arnaud. The Braves catcher followed with a double and they scored a couple in the inning, but Alcantara never allowed the potential tying run to get on base. Duvall popped out with the bases empty to end it.

Atlanta is now 19-22 and moved into a tie with Philly for second place in the East, for whatever that’s worth. All in all, I’d say this series was a decent recovery from the debacle to end the Milwaukee series early in the week. I’ll take winning the series here. It would’ve been difficult to beat Alcantara today. Let’s keep it going into our first series against the Phillies early this week.

15 thoughts on “Braves can’t figure out Alcantara, fall 4-3”

  1. I don’t want it to turn into the NBA where there doesn’t seem to be nearly as much competitive fire between opponents as there used to be, but I love this stuff:

  2. Alcantara is one hell of a pitcher and he always seems to have our number. I think Snitker’s still in “let’s see what we have” mode (just as Billy Beane used to do it, the first couple months of the season), so I think letting Anderson start the 7th is defensible, I just never really trust him to go long.

  3. @4 I hear that, but it looked like he was starting to bend a little in the 6th and I thought he was done. If our bullpen was as good as it was supposed to be, I think he would have gotten pulled. But now we are without Luke and Matzek and Minter and Strider can’t pitch everyday and it is a crapshoot with the other guys.

  4. Thornburg DFA’d. Dylan Lee called up.

    Odd timing. Thornburg had been fine. I thought he might get until the end of May when the Braves would be forced to make a decision.

  5. @5, tbh I wasn’t watching (I was having a beer with Ububba, actually!) so I’m completely talking out of my keister. If anything, I think I’d be absolutely fine if Ian pretty much never pitched past the sixth as a matter of policy. But you’re absolutely right, our pen is feeling a little thin these days, particularly when it comes to bridging the gap to the 8th and 9th, which was exactly the reason to bring in McHugh. His unreliability has quietly been one of the bigger issues we’ve had this year between the roster on paper and the team on the field.

  6. I think that if a pitcher shows no sign of needing to be taken out, you don’t take him out. Now the problem is that Ian had shown mild signs of possibly needing to be taken out in the sixth, so I could see it going either way. But I pretty much hate the automatic third-time-through/seventh-inning thing.

  7. @9, I hear you, but I’m a big believer in putting a guy in a position to succeed. When a reliever can’t get lefties out, you put him in to face righties and then you yank him. When a guy can’t pitch past the sixth, you take the ball and pat him on the butt at the end of the 6th. When a guy shows you what he’s capable of, sometimes I think the best thing to do is just play to his strengths, not try to get him to overcome all of his weaknesses.

  8. Why was Olson batting 2nd anyway? Guys like him should be batting lower in the line up

  9. Olsen got a hit. Olsen got a hit. And a walk.
    But as usual no run scored or an RBI.
    I read not too long ago he was better than Freddie.
    Tucker must learn like every pitcher before him even those in the HOF.
    Judgment is most always best when delayed. Time reveals the truth.
    But I do dig Wright. He has combined talent with a cerebral approach. The best always do.
    I don’t dig Snitker. He is a below average manager.

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