Diamondbacks Rookie A.J. Pollock Rocks Jonathan Sanchez, Pirates Crushed 10-2
By Tom Smith
Jonathan Sanchez started off so impressively. A strikeout of Pirates killer Gerado Parra. On. Three. Pitches.
A fastball to A.J. Pollock and a breaking ball for a strike set the count at 0-2. The next breaking ball was crushed for a one-out double down the left field line.
A 90-mile per hour strike was fired to Martin Prado as a clean shaven Kirk Gibson nervously chewed his gum hoping for his ballclub to avoid a sweep by the Buccos. The first ball pitched by the Pirates 30-year old was a 91-mile per hour fastball. An 80 miles per hour change got in for a strike. But the next pitch was ball two.
And then came the key play of the game. Sanchez had picked off Pollock from second base. The rookie was dead to rights at third base. All Sanchez had to do was throw the ball to Josh Harrison who raced to cover the third base bag.
But the Sanchez throw…oh, the throw. It reminded Buffalo Bills fans of all those painful Super Bowls— wide left. The ball rolled toward the fence and Pollock raced home as Sanchez bent over at the waist and stared at the Chase Field ground.
A couple of breaking balls later and Prado walked to first base. The second start of the season went downhill from there for the Pirates lefty.
Apr. 10, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA: Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Jonathan Sanchez throws in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Sanchez gave up six runs on his first 71 pitches when his velocity was strong. (Maybe the Diamondbacks arms just got tired from crushing baseballs?) It took those 71 pitches for Sanchez to get six outs–he left the bases drunk in the second.
In the third, and during the one out he recorded in the fourth inning, the velocity drop was noticeable as it was in his first start.
Sanchez threw 30 pitches in the first, 41 in the second, 10 in the third, and just 12 in the fourth before hitting the showers.
Sanchez was tagged with nine earned runs thanks to Chris Leroux walking three Snakes. He gave up eight hits in 3.1 innings pitched giving up four walks and recording two strikeouts.
Notre Dame’s first-round pick Pollock hit two neck-snapping bombs (one is embedded below and here is the link to the fthree-run shot) and went 3-for-5 with four RBI to pace the Diamondbacks. The bearded NL Rookie-of-the-Year first loser, Wade Miley gave up just two runs in 6.2 innings.
Starling Marte continued to hit and recorded yet another multi-hit game, but received little help from his teammates against the effective Wade Miley.