In honor of today’s off-day, I think it’s appropriate to look back to one year ago, in a game between the Giants and the Washington Nationals on April 30, 2011. Jonathan Sanchez pitched for the G’s, and pitched he did. John Lannan started for the Nats, but this story isn’t about him.
Sanchez started the game off in true fashion, with a full-count walk to Danny Espinoza, before getting a 4-6-3 double play from Rick Ankiel. With the bases now empty, Sanchez was free to issue three consecutive walks, loading the bases, before coercing Mike Morse to ground out to third. Inning over.
The second inning wasn’t much better, but just as lucky. Sanchez hit Ian Desmond with a pitch, but then successfully picked him off, until Fontenot bobbled the ball and Desmond ended up safe at second. Sanchez walked Jerry Hairston, then struck out the pitcher, and unleashed a wild pitch to the backstop to advance both runners. He then hit Espinoza with a pitch to re-load the bases. Rick Ankiel blooped a single into short left-center field, scoring Desmond from third and leaving the bases loaded. This was the first hit, but the eighth baserunner for the Nationals. Sanchez then struck out Jayson Werth and got Adam LaRoche to ground to first base. Buster Posey, playing first that day, ranged well to his right to ground the ball, only to turn to throw to first and see that Sanchez had forgotten to run to first. Posey, being the badass that he is, put his head down and charged to first, beating LaRoche by a step. Inning over.
As the team ran in, Dave Righetti caught Sanchez at the stairs, and practically grabbed him by the collar and dragged him over to the corner of the dugout where Bruce Bochy was waiting, looking upset. The three spoke quickly and quietly, and Sanchez came out of the talk looking like a kid whose parents had just yelled at him for drawing on the walls.
And that’s when Sanchez got his crap together, because it wouldn’t be a true Jonathan Sanchez game without talking about his random spurts of dominance. He struck out four batters in two perfect innings, and got a key strikeout to end the fifth after allowing a double and a walk.
After that Sanchez came out of the game, and the Giants went on to win 2-1.
Sanchez’s final line: