MIAMI – If they had the ability to vote for this year’s National League Cy Young Award winner – and they most certainly do not – the Nationals would unanimously select Sandy Alcantara. With all due respect to anybody else they’ve faced this year, how could they go with anyone other than the Marlins ace, who has dominated everyone around the league but has saved some of this best performances for them.
And you can add tonight’s gem to the list. With power and efficiency, Alcantara toppled the Nationals, 4-1, and nearly tossed his second complete game against them this week.
The lanky right-hander struck out 11 and saw his pitch count climb a bit (99) compared to his 103-pitch complete game Sunday at Nationals Park. That prompted manager Don Mattingly to lift him after he struck out the side in the eighth and turn to closer Dylan Floro to finish it off.
That didn’t diminish Alcantara’s performance tonight, in which he allowed only five batters to reach base, with Alex Call reaching three times on his own and everybody else combining to reach twice. Call somehow managed to reach base in six of his seven plate appearances against Alcantara this week, cracking a code nobody else in the Nats lineup could figure out.
There’s no shame, of course, in getting beat by Alcantara, now 14-8 with a 2.32 ERA for the season. But he’s been remarkably dominant against the Nationals, who in five starts went 4-0 with an 0.90 ERA, averaging eight innings per outing.