Last night, Jonathon Sanchez put in the best performance from any pitcher in the Major Leagues all season, and boy was it a show! And yeah, I’m talking about the Jonathon Sanchez that was 2-8 going into the game, had been demoted to the bullpen, and had a 5.30 ERA. Yeah. He that’s the guy that just no-hit the San Diego Padres. Now, the Padres aren’t what you would consider a good team, not that they are all that bad though. The way they have played in stretches this season would back that up. But they weren’t good enough to be a team that would be considered unno-hittable. Now, you have to give props to Sanchez who has had an extremely tough season for doing what no one has done yet this year. Great job man.
In most no-hitter scenarios, the pitcher generally dominates, making few mistakes that he is fortunate enough not to have ruined their no-hitter. In the game last night, there were a few balls that just missed leaving the ballpark. If the batter had hit it just a little farther, this story would be nowhere. It wouldn’t even be in anyone’s head. “Jonathon Sanchez throwing a no-hitter… not with the stats he has.”
Last night, two of those hits came from Adrian Gonzalez, the slugging first baseman that will be competing in this year’s home run derby. He hit two to left field that forced the left fielder to the warning track. A little more on each of those hits and he would have had two more homers added on to his impressive home run total for 2009. The other one that was probably the most important of the game was the one that was off the bat of… some guy that batted in the eighth that I don’t know the name of. It went deep to straight away centerfield. With some centerfielders, it would have hit the wall and bounced off for a double, possibly a triple, ultimately ruining the no-no. But who better to have in center than Aaron Rowand. The wall-crashing-into-specialist. He jumped to catch the ball and robbed the batter of extra bases- saved Sanchez’s place in history. My dad and I both watched the recap video of the game on MLB.com and we both said the same thing when Rowand snagged the ball… “Oh wow!” Now, imagine if the ball would have been a homer and Rowand robbed that… think about that for a minute…
To further appreciate his dominance in this game and just his totally STELLAR pitching, Sanchez’s no-hitter would have been a perfect game if not for an error by the one and only Juan Uribe. I don’t know about any of you, but Uribe has always struck me as that guy that would ruin something great and just didn’t have it as a professional. Not that he’s a bad player… he’s a lot better than me… but he just isn’t that reliable.
Sanchez’s season and even his career has changed dramatically with this no-hitter. It was a tremendous performance and his perseverance just makes it all the better for this guy. He’s a young pitcher and to have thrown a no-no will boost his confidence a mile high… figuratively speeking.
Congrats to Jonathon Sanchez!
Tim Lincecum… man what a great young stud this is. He is athletic, he is a great pitcher, he is really good looking… as many of my female friends say (but that’s besides the point). The point is, this kid is good. And I mean really good. Yesterday he displayed work that proves exactly how good he is in his outing against the St. Louis Cardinals. He tossed a two hitter, complete game shutout to the Cards in front of the opposing Cardinal crowd.
Well, I don’t think he could have gotten any better without throwing a perfect game. He struck out eight, gave up no walks. He had a commanding fastball (as he has his whole career) and was dominating with his secondary pitches. He was even doing it on the defensive end. In the fifth inning, Lincecum fielded a ball that was grounded just over the reach of his glove. He slid on the grass, picked it up and threw to first for the out. Did I mention he was really athletic?
He was just STELLAR. Seriously. He was great. He is definitely in contention for another Cy Young award. And the triple crown.. well I’m just saying it’s not out of reach.
Now, Lincecum wasn’t the only ace to throw a two hit, complete game shutout. Astros ace Roy Oswalt also did so. The only difference between these two starts is that Oswalt allowed one run and gave up two walkes. Other than that, Oswalt was STELLAR. He also got the win and the Astros got their series with the Padres under way with a win.
Oswalt has had a tough start to the season. Some say the WBC took its toll on him. Some say he is just slumping and is having a tough season. Well, this win is going to give him a tremendous boost in confidence. You can’t pitch much better than he did yesterday without throwing a no hitter of perfect game. He is starting to get older but still has a lot left in him. I think he will get back into the groove of things soon because this win is going to get him going.
Oswalt now has a record of 4-4. This isn’t all that bad. He has a 4.02 ERA which is also respectable. He is going to get better as the season goes on so you can count on him being the ace the Astros are used to having.
So that’s the wrapup for today. They are both great pitchers and are going to continue to be great throughout their careers. Especially Lincecum. He is really something special. I’m excited to see him grow into a true professional. Not that he isn’t already there but there’s a little more to go. They both were absolutely STELLAR yesterday and I thought they should be recognized for it. Congrats guys.
Well that’s all. Adios!