Sandy Alcántara Apr 4, 2023; Miami, Florida, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara (22) gets a hug from right fielder Avisail Garcia (24) after a complete game over the Minnesota Twins at loanDepot Park. Mandatory Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

If you go to see Miami Marlins ace Sandy Alcántara live, don’t be late. Because if Tuesday’s game against the Minnesota Twins is any indicator, these games won’t be long experiences.

Alcantara was dealing on Tuesday. He threw a complete game shutout, allowing three hits with one walk and five strikeouts. Alcántara is the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner and one of baseball’s best pitchers. So, while shutouts — especially early in the season — are rare, the dominant outing wasn’t particularly surprising.

What was surprising is that this game was completed in less than two hours.

In terms of individual violations, the pitch clock has been somewhat controversial. By and large, though, baseball fans have loved the faster pace of play during the season’s opening week.

Alcántara’s gem was no exception. Baseball fans responded warmly to the sub two hour game.

A couple of points need to be made.

One, the Marlins didn’t have a great offensive day, scoring only one run on three hits with a walk. Two, games where the home teams wins are inherently going to be faster, with no bottom of the ninth inning needing to be played.

So, less than two hours will not be a norm. But with games around the league being played at a much quicker pace, they may not be complete outliers either.

[Craig Mish]

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