Everyone knows the Pittsburgh Pirates are staring at a very important decision about keeping left-hander Jonathan Sanchez or letting him go. Sanchez is doing everything he possibly can lately to make the decision an easy one for the Bucs as he put up five scoreless innings against the Baltimore Orioles.
Sanchez struckout five, walked one and allowed two hits over his five innings.
As we wrote after his last outing against the Houston Astros, the thought of Jonathan Sanchez in the Pirates starting rotation would have been crazy talk a few months ago. Even last night, Pirates announcers Steve Blass and Tim Neverett repeatedly said, ‘if Sanchez is still in the mix.’
Our question is how can he not be in the mix? Just because Brad Hawpe served as the designated hitter?
You’re laughing at the thought aren’t you? But then the thought of Sanchez striking out everyone in sight back in the day…. it was like that against the Orioles too. The curveball was wicked. Oh, yeh Sanchez sent a pitch to the backstop, but that’s going to happen. We’re looking for baby steps here.
If Ray Searage and company can fix the southpaw, even if it’s for part of the season, it’s going to be a great story. Wait. We are believing our own hype here. It was just the Astros. And it was just the Orioles.
For the second consecutive start Sanchez attacked the Baltimore hitters if first pitch strikes and Blass and Neverett were speaking the truth during the broadcast.
In the first, Brian Roberts popped out. Manny Machado got his first of the only hits Sanchez would allow. Adam Jones flew out and then Machado was thrown out at second base by Russell Martin to end the inning.
In the second, Matt Weiters flew out. J.J. Hardy grounded out. Starling Marte made a dazzling catch at the wall on a Chris Davis blast.
In the third, Nolan Reimold flew out, Russ Canzler struckout and Lew Ford walked and moved to second on the Sanchez wild pitch. Sanchez got Roberts looking to end the inning.
In the fourth, Machado singled to lead off the inning. Adam Jones flew out and then Matt Weiters grounded into a double play.
In the fifth, Sanchez put the excalamtion point on the start with a strikeout of Hardy and Davis. Reimold grounded out to make it an easy one, two, three for the Bucs lefty.
The team is down to single digit days until they must make their decision, for us, it seems like Sanchez is a pitcher that can’t be given up on just yet.
The Pirates are giving another darkhorse an opportunity as Jeanmar Gomez will get the start in Friday’s game.