MLB

Alcantara dominates the Dodgers in Marlins win, Shohei Ohtani shuts down the Blue Jays

By Sports Desk August 27, 2022

Miami Marlins ace pitcher and heavy NL Cy Young Award favourite Sandy Alcantara shut down the best team in baseball single-handedly, pitching a complete game in his side's 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Alcantara needed 111 pitches to get all 27 outs, striking out 10 batters while giving up one run from six hits and two walks.

The one run he gave up was a solo home run to Mookie Betts in the third inning, continuing a hot series for Betts after hitting two home runs yesterday. It was Betts' 30th home run of the season – only six players have more.

Miami had to manufacture their runs the hard way, relying on small-ball. In the fourth inning, Jon Berti hit a single and then stole second base, allowing Brian Anderson to tie the game at 1-1 with an RBI base hit.

Two innings later, the Marlins took the lead when they capitalised on a fielding error as Edwin Encarnacion's single was bobbled by the left-fielder, letting Joey Wendle scamper home.

The Marlins showed incredible trust in their star in the ninth inning, as a pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases, but Joey Gallo could not be the hero for the Dodgers, grounding out to first base to end the game.

Alcantara has clearly been the best pitcher in the NL this season, and might have a case as the best starter in all of baseball.

He has tossed 19 more innings than any other player, and he is the only pitcher with more than 5.4 WAR (wins above replacement) – putting a gap on the field with 6.4. Of his 26 starts, 19 have been 'quality starts', meaning at least six innings pitched with no more than three earned runs.

Ohtani blanks the Blue Jays

The most unique player in baseball was the star of the show in the Los Angeles Angels' 2-0 win against the Toronto Blue Jays, with Shohei Ohtani striking out nine batters in seven shut-out innings.

Ohtani, who has hit the 11th-most home runs this season (27), has also struck out the seventh-most batters, with 176 in his 22 starts. Among starting pitchers, only Atlanta Braves rookie Spencer Strider (13.3) has a better strikeouts-per-nine-innings figure than Ohtani's 12.4.

He did not collect a hit in his four at-bats on Saturday, but was walked twice.

Yankees sputter in extra innings loss

The New York Yankees could only muster one hit in 11 innings against the Oakland Athletics, going down 3-2 in extras.

Athletics starting pitcher Adam Oller produced a career-best showing, giving up one hit and one walk in eight complete innings, while Yankees starter Domingo German also had his best stuff, carrying a perfect game into the sixth frame.

In extras, the Yankees scored their only two runs from a bases-loaded wild pitch, but that 2-0 lead was wiped out with one swing as pinch-hitter Stephen Vogt connected on a two-run home run. In the 11th, after the Yankees failed to score, the Athletics won with a walk-off error when New York second-baseman D.J. LeMahieu could not complete a double-play.

Related items

  • Jacob deGrom signs five-year, $185million free agent deal with the Texas Rangers Jacob deGrom signs five-year, $185million free agent deal with the Texas Rangers

    The Texas Rangers have not been shy about spending money recently, and that continued Friday as they agreed to a five-year, $185million contract with two-time Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom.

    DeGrom, who has spent his entire nine-year career with the New York Mets, is perhaps the most dominant pitcher in baseball when healthy.

    His career 2.52 ERA ranks third in the expansion era (since 1961) behind Los Angeles Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw (2.48) and Hall-of-Famer Sandy Koufax (2.19) among those with at least 200 starts.

    "We are thrilled that Jacob deGrom has decided to become a Texas Ranger," executive vice president and general manager Chris Young said in a statement.

    "Over a number of seasons, Jacob has been a standout major league pitcher, and he gives us a dominant performer at the top of our rotation. One of our primary goals this offseason is to strengthen our starting pitching, and we are adding one of the best."

    This blockbuster move comes just before baseball's winter meetings, which begin early next week in San Diego. The Rangers said deGrom will be introduced in a news conference at Globe Life Field next week following the winter meetings.

    "It fits in so many ways in terms of what we need," Young said. "He's a tremendous person. I have a number of close friends and teammates who played with Jacob and love him. I think he's going to be just a perfect fit for our clubhouse and our fans."

    DeGrom, however, has been limited to 26 starts and 156-and-a-third innings over the past two seasons due to elbow, forearm and shoulder blade injuries. He compiled a career-low 1.08 ERA over 92 innings in 2021, but did not pitch after July 7 that year because of arm trouble.

    "We acknowledge the risk, but we also acknowledge that in order to get great players, there is a risk and a cost associated with that," Young said. "And one we feel like is worth taking with a player of Jacob's caliber."

    The Rangers have spent nearly $761m in free agency over the past year, including massive contracts last offseason to shortstop Corey Seager ($325m, 10 years) and second baseman Marcus Semien ($175m, seven years). The moves didn’t pay off, though, as they finished 68-94 for their sixth consecutive losing season.

    Texas responded by hiring three-time World Series champion Bruce Bochy as their new manager in October.

    DeGrom didn’t make his season debut this past season until August, and went 5-4 with a 3.08 ERA in 11 starts. After helping the Mets reach the playoffs, he passed up a $30.5m salary for 2023 and opted out his contract to become a free agent for the first time.

    DeGrom won consecutive Cy Young Awards in 2018 and 2019 and is 82-57 with 1,607 strikeouts in 1,326 innings over nine big league seasons.

  • Slugger Abreu joins champion Astros on three-year $58.5m deal Slugger Abreu joins champion Astros on three-year $58.5m deal

    The reigning World Series champion Houston Astros have struck quickly to fill one of their few glaring needs after agreeing to a reported three-year contract with 2020 American League MVP Jose Abreu.

    Abreu, who had spent his entire nine-year major league career with the Chicago White Sox, will earn $19.5 million per season, according to Houston television station KRIV.

    The 35-year-old first baseman was named the AL’s top player during the coronavirus-shortened 2020 campaign after batting .317 with 19 home runs and an MLB-leading 60 RBIs in 60 games that season.

    Though his home run total dipped from 30 in 2021 to 15 this past season, Abreu finished fifth in the AL in both batting average (.304) and on-base percentage (.378) after drawing a career-high 62 walks. Abreu also recorded the lowest strikeout rate of his MLB career at 16.2 per cent in 2022.

    Abreu’s addition makes it unlikely the team will re-sign incumbent first baseman Yuli Gurriel, who struggled to a .242 average and a .647 OPS this past season and turned 38 in June.

    It is the second notable signing the Astros have made this offseason after retaining reliever Rafael Montero to a three-year, $34.5 million contract earlier this month.

    Houston still hopes to bring back its most prominent free agent in 2021 AL Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander, who is reportedly seeking a deal similar to the three-year, $130 million contract the Mets gave Max Scherzer last offseason.

  • 'It's out of my price range' – Aaron Judge rules out $3million-plus auction bid for 62nd home run ball 'It's out of my price range' – Aaron Judge rules out $3million-plus auction bid for 62nd home run ball

    Aaron Judge is resigned to being an intrigued observer when the ball he struck for a record-breaking 62nd home run goes up for auction – declaring he cannot afford to join the bidding race.

    The 30-year-old set a single-season Yankees and AL home-run record by reaching 62 to surpass Roger Maris Sr's 61 – set 61 years ago in 1961.

    Judge became the fourth major league player to hit 62 or more homers in a single season, and his feat belongs in baseball legend, making the ball that saw him set the record on October 4 especially valuable.

    It occurred at the home of the Texas Rangers in Arlington, with the spectator at Globe Life Field that caught the ball striking lucky by guaranteeing himself an apparent fortune.

    According to ESPN, that man, Cory Youmans, decided to put the ball in the hands of Goldin Auctions "after weeks of a lot of deep conversations" with his wife and lawyer.

    Youmans said: "It seems fair in the sense it gives anyone that is interested and has the means the opportunity to own it. As a fan, I'm curious to see what it's worth, who buys it and what they do with it."

    Youmans is said to have already turned down $3million for the ball, with his lawyer, Dave Baron, suspecting the final selling price could be "significantly higher based on New York, the New York fan base and how crazy it could get at an auction".

    That rules Judge out of contention, as he said the ball is "out of my price range right now".

    The ball is listed with a starting bid of $1million, with the auction due to get under way on November 30.

    Judge said of the seller's choice: "He caught the ball, he's the one that made the play out there in left field, so it's his right to do what he wants with it. Hopefully he's making the right decision for him and his family.''

    The ball's value will not have been harmed by Judge winning the AL Most Valuable Player (MVP) award ahead of Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani on Thursday.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.