Dave Roberts: Dodgers ‘Ran Into A Buzzsaw’ Against Sandy Alcántara

Although the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup was able to find its stride against Miami Marlins ace Sandy Alcántara in their previous matchup less than a week ago, getting a second look at the National League Cy Young Award frontrunner yielded different results.

Alcántara allowed six runs on 10 hits through just 3.2 innings while pitching at Dodger Stadium last Sunday. That left Dodgers manager Dave Roberts impressed by the club’s at-bat quality against “one of the game’s best” pitchers.

However, on Saturday while pitching at loanDepot Park, Alcántara gave up just one run on six hits while striking out 10 and throwing a complete game.

The outing looked much more like what was expected of the 2022 National League All-Star and left Roberts with nothing but praise for the 26-year-old pitcher, via SportsNet LA:

“He was certainly outstanding. I think tonight he used more secondary. There were certainly a lot more changeups in there versus the lefties, more sliders versus the righties. He was more than 50% secondaries. And when he did throw the fastball, it was pretty close to 100 (mph) all night and located. Tonight was a tough night. … We ran into a buzzsaw in Alcántara, and we still were one hit away from winning the game. I thought Gallo took a really nice at-bat. If it sneaks through there, we have the lead. We played a good baseball game and we got beat. That’s going to happen.”

Considered by many to be the National League Cy Young favorite, Alcántara completely changed his approach against L.A. to find more success.

In his first outing, Alcántara threw his fastball 25 times, which was his most used pitch (28%) of the outing. He mixed that in with a slider (26%), changeup (24%) and sinker (22%) to create a pretty even split of hard pitches and off-speed pitches.

In his start against the Dodgers at loanDepot Park, Alcántara threw his slider 38 times (34%) and changeup 35 times (32%) while relying on the fastball for just 20 throws (18%) and sinker 18 times (16%). Compared to his overall season, Alcántara slider usage saw the biggest increase at 14%, while his changeup usage rose 7%.

Alcántara closes in on Gonsolin’s ERA lead

By holding the Dodgers to just one run, Alcántara closed the gap on NL ERA-leader Tony Gonsolin. The Dodgers’ breakout starter still has a slight edge at with a 2.10 ERA compared to Alcántara’s 2.13. The Marlins’ right-hander has thrown 185.2 innings, which is far superior to Gonsolin’s 128.1, however.

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