Aug 6, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara (22) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Coors Field is a pitching nightmare unlike any other in Major League Baseball, and Miami Marlins pitcher Sandy Alcántara got an unwelcome taste of that on Friday night. Alcántara entered the game with a 3.12 ERA on the season (14th among MLB qualified starters), and exited with a 3.70 ERA.

The high-quality (in any other park) right-hander allowed 10 hits, 10 earned runs, and three home runs in 3 2/3 innings, while striking out just one batter and walking two. Colorado’s C.J. Cron hit two of the homers.

Steven Okert replaced Alcántara with two outs in the fourth inning, and immediately allowed a 439-foot homer to Elías Díaz. The Rockies — who entered this game 48-61, but 35-21 at home — scored nine runs in the fourth inning.

Alcántara actually was terrific in his only previous start at Coors Field, allowing two earned runs over seven innings. But it’s really hard to maintain that success in a park where hits fall in like crazy due to a massive outfield, and due to flyballs leaving the yard at a high rate due to Denver’s thin air. Additionally, pitches frequently have less movement and therefore less effectiveness in the higher altitude.

Add it all up, and it makes pitching incredibly difficult in the park. It’s why Clayton Kershaw has a 4.57 ERA in 145 2/3 career innings (24 starts) at Coors Field despite a pristine 2.48 career ERA overall.

So, shake this one off, Sandy. It happens to pretty much every pitcher at Coors Field.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

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