Dodgers shell Cy Young favorite Sandy Alcantara in sweeping win

Last week, the reigning National League’s Cy Young Award winner lasted just over five innings before being chased by the Dodgers’ dominant offense.

On Sunday, this year’s Cy Young leader couldn’t even finish a four.

In his worst start to an otherwise stellar season, Miami Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara was beaten, beaten and eventually buried by the Dodgers in a 10-3 win, ending a three-game weekend to 41,125 at Dodger Stadium.

In a season-short 3⅔ innings, Alcantara was marked with a season-high in runs (six) and hits (10).

He lost possession of the National League ERA lead, falling behind the Dodgers’ Tony Gonsolin after his mark went from 1.92 to 2.19.

And he looked nothing like the fast-working, innings-guzzling, hard-throwing right-hander who had risen to become baseball’s top pitcher for the first four months of the season.

“He’s one of the best in the game,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “But we came out with a really good plan today.”

Entering the series finale, the Dodgers were well aware of Alcantara’s glitzy campaign.

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara delivers against the Dodgers on Sunday.

Miami Marlins starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara delivers against the Dodgers on Sunday.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

When Clayton Kershaw was selected to start the All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium last month, Kershaw called the 26-year-old to say it could easily have been him and not Kershaw who deserved the honor.

Before Sunday’s first pitch, Roberts also gushed about the Marlins pitcher, whose near-automatic ability to work deep in games (he’d pitched nine innings four times and pitched seven innings in 17 of his 24 starts) had separated him from the crowd in the field Cy Young race.

“Honestly,” Roberts said, “when you see his name on the [pitching] You probably fear it.”

However, Roberts also said the Dodgers (84-36) were looking forward to the challenge.

Just like when they took on ace Milwaukee Brewers and reigning National League Cy Young Award winner Corbin Burnes on Thursday, Alcantara showcased the kind of elite-level pitching they’ll see in the postseason.

And unlike their performance against Burnes, when they were ruled out for five innings before finally scraping three runs in the sixth, the Dodgers came to Alcantara early and often on Sunday.

At the end of the first, they drove Alcantara’s pitch count up while making a run after Mookie Betts was single, finished second and hit with a base hit by Will Smith.

At the end of the second game, the Dodgers hit on Alcantara’s fastball, with Joey Gallo driving a two-out triple off the wall in right field before Cody Bellinger blasted a two-run home run over the barrier and into the outfield pavilion.

After a Max Muncy RBI single in the third, the Dodgers knocked out Alcantara in the fourth when Betts hit a run home and Smith hit the second of his three RBIs with a ground-rule double.

Max Muncy of the Los Angeles Dodgers points to the sky with home plate after his solo home run.

Max Muncy points up as he crosses home plate after hitting a solo home run in the seventh inning Sunday.

(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

“He wore out a bit and left pitches above the plate for us,” Muncy said. “And we meet his mistakes.”

The Marlins’ streak of defensive problems didn’t help Alcantara either.

Bett’s first inning single came on a hard ground ball that third baseman Jon Berti failed to catch.

Right fielder Brian Anderson also assisted a couple of Dodgers rallies, failing to pin Gallo’s triple to the wall and allowing Smith’s ground-rule double to go over his head. (Anderson also committed an error in the eighth throw that resulted in a run).

The Dodgers defense had a very different day thanks to two highlights from Gallo down the left.

In the top of the first, Gallo threw a runner-at-home plate out of the inning for the final. In the third, he potentially robbed the leadoff hitter of extra bases with a dive catch near the foul line.

The Marlins (52-69) finally cracked Dodgers starter Ryan Pepiot when Lewin Díaz hit a two-run homer in the fourth. But those were the only runs the rookie right-hander gave up in a season-best six innings and seven strikeouts.

And while the Dodgers’ top offense piled up late, getting a solo home run from Muncy (his MLB-leading seventh in August) at the bottom of the seventh and three more insurance runs in the eighth, their destruction of Alcantara had already served as that biggest statement of the day.

“You’re going to see a guy like that in the postseason,” Roberts said. “That says a lot about how good we can be.”

Short jumps

Brusdar Graterol (shoulder) will be activated from the injured list on Monday, according to Roberts. …Kershaw (rear) probably won’t need a rehabilitation assignment after all, Roberts said. The left-hander will host an extended bullpen session this week instead, then a simulated match against teammates.

https://www.latimes.com/sports/dodgers/story/2022-08-21/dodgers-marlins-recap-sweep-sandy-alcantara-mlb Dodgers shell Cy Young favorite Sandy Alcantara in sweeping win

Emma Bowman

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