After an all-encompassing overhaul before the start of the season, the Miami Marlins season was predicted to have highs and lows. The Marlins concluded the season on a low.
Noah Syndergaard led the New York Mets (77-85) with dominant pitching shutting out the Marlins 1-0 in the season finale.
Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Dee Gordon were all part of an offseason payroll purge; now the Marlins ended up with the worst record in the National League at 63-98 in Derek Jeter’s first year as chief executive officer. Miami went scoreless over the final 24 innings.
“Last two days, kind of indicative. We go (22) innings and only give up two runs and we don’t win either game,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.
Jeter expressed before season end that Mattingly is expected back next year.
Marlins promising rookie Sandy Alcantara (2-3) struck out a career-high ten over seven innings in his sixth major league start for the Marlins — three against the Mets.
“I thought he was more aggressive,” Mattingly said. “There’s nothing monumental that happened today other than this guy has a chance to be a really good pitcher, and consistency is going to be the key.”
On the opposite side of the diamond, Syndergaard is good; however, a game like this illustrates how special he is.
Syndergaard’s complete-game shutout was only the 19th in the majors this year, fewest in a season since 1874, when there were just eight teams. There were 27 such outings last season.
The previous Mets pitcher with a complete-game shutout was Jacob deGrom on July 17, 2016.
Syndergaard won his seventh straight decision at home and improved to 6-0 with a 1.64 ERA, and 60 strikeouts against six walks in eight career starts against the Marlins.
Not a high note, but a fun one. Marlins All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto was the captain of the ship, managing the team on Sunday.
“It was fun. I enjoyed it, for sure,” Realmuto said. “It was actually a fairly easy game to manage because Sandy did a great job, obviously, so there weren’t many moves on our part.”
The beat goes on, for the Marlins, pitchers and catchers report to spring training Feb. 13, and Miami opens the 2019 season March 28 against Colorado. Mets begin next season at NL East rival Washington.