This is my summary of last night’s performance by Jonathan Sanchez, in pictures.
In the first inning, this was my reaction:
Neither runner scored on the single and the bottom part of the order is coming. Maybe Sanchez can K his way out of the two-on and no-out mess. Chris Young helps with a shallow popup to first base for out number two, but then Jim Tracy over manages and issues a free pass. I hate bunting and I hate intentional walks. Bunts give up an out and IBB give a free base runner to the other team, both exactly opposite of the goal of baseball (get outs and keep people off of base).
I will say this; Ryan Roberts has been hot in July with a triple slash of .367/.472/.367 and I don’t care that the pitcher is next, giving the opposing team a free base just isn’t a good idea – and it’s only the fourth inning. To this point in the game Sanchez had given up the home run and not much else as far as hard hit baseballs and eight of the nine outs going into the fourth had been via a strikeout or a ground ball. Sanchez wasn’t pitching poorly. If he walks Roberts due to control issues like he had Goldschmidt and Upton, so be it, Tracy wanted to walk him anyway, but maybe he strikes him out?
Anyway, I think it is a case of over-managing and while the result of Ian Kennedy’s at-bat isn’t likely, it did happen: a bases clearing triple.
The intentional walk:
Some might see last night’s out as just another Rockies starting pitcher getting blasted by opposing hitters, but I think it is a bit more positive than that. The intentional walk was not needed and it is doubtful that the pitcher hits a freaking triple to score three runs. Sanchez, had he been given the chance, might have gotten out of the inning allowing only one run (if Roberts grounds out it probably scores the runner on third). If Sanchez is having trouble finding the strike zone having him intentionally throw four balls out of the zone isn’t a good idea.
I’ll take last night as a positive for Sanchez while many others will take it as a negative. He did top 90mph on the radar gun a few times which is also a good sign as some were worried about arm issues in KC.