MLB wanted quick games?
Well, Miami Marlins star Sandy Alcantara has their back.
On Tuesday, the reigning NL Cy Young winner delivered his first complete game shutout of the season against the Minnesota Twins.
It was a masterful performance, but not at all unexpected given the pitcher on the mound for the Marlins.
Alcantara won the Cy Young last year on the strength of his durability.
He didn’t have the league’s best ERA at 2.28 (although it was still elite), but his ability to eat innings is impressive and reminiscent of the 70s, 80s, or 90s.
Whereas pitchers rarely surpass 180 innings per season these days, Alcantara pitched a career-high and league-leading 228.2 last year.
Alcantara got the win Tuesday by allowing just three hits and a walk over nine shutout innings while striking out five in the 1-0 game.
The best part of it all is that he did it in just one hour and 57 minutes!
Sandy Alcántara. Complete Game. 🍾
New season. Same result.
[In 1 hour and 57 minutes!] pic.twitter.com/q1zywvpV1u
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 5, 2023
That has got to be a dream outcome for MLB.
League officials want pitchers to work fast, and that’s why they implemented the pitch clock.
Some pitchers have really struggled to start their deliveries on time.
But not Alcantara.
He is used to working quickly and efficiently, often prioritizing soft contact over strikeouts.
Since 2021, his groundball rate has been elite and always over 50 percent.
Pitchers often prefer a quick groundball on a 0-0 or 0-1 (or 1-0) count instead of running up every count to 3-2 to try and get the K.
Alcantara was the perfect example of how quickly a pitcher can work and still be effective.
He manhandled the Twins, a good hitting team, and actually used the pitch clock to his advantage.
Sandy Alcantara Finds Himself In Elite Marlins Company After Latest Start