Saturday, October 12, 2019

MLB Playoffs: Day Nine

Prior to the season, the Nats picked up Anibal Sanchez to the their fourth starter.  Sanchez is 35 years old, and he had gone 7-6 with Atlanta in 2018.  He's been in the majors since 2006, and he had a lifetime record of 97-100.  He really struggled at the beginning of the year, as did the Nats.  On the morning of May 29, his record was 0-6, and the Nats were eight games under .500.  But he beat the Braves that day, and pitched well for the rest of the season -- finishing with a record of 11-8.  He made it through the first five innings of Game Three against the Dodgers, giving up only a single run.  But the roof fell in on the Nats after they took him out, and the Dodgers won that game.  But of course, the Nats won Games Four and Five to take the series, and now found themselves needing a starter for Game One in St. Louis.  They went with Sanchez.

He was magnificent.  It was really cold in St. Louis -- the temperature was somewhere in the 40's for much of the evening -- and the Cardinals couldn't do much with Sanchez's soft tosses.  In fact, he went into the 8th inning with a no-hitter and a 2-0 lead.  The Nats had scratched out one run when Yan Gomes, their light-hitting catcher, doubled in Howie Kendrick in the second.  Kendrick had singled home Adam Eaton with another run in the seventh, and it was up to Nats' pitching to make that lead stand up.  This task was complicated by the fact that Daniel Hudson, the nearest thing Washington has to a closer these days, was away on paternity leave.  But Sanchez did his part, eventually going 7 2/3 innings before allowing a single.  And Sean Doolittle did the rest, retiring the last four Cardinals and giving Washington a huge road victory.

This afternoon the Cards and Nats will have a rematch in St. Louis, with Adam Wainwright dueling Max Scherzer.  And then the American League will finally get started, with the Yankees and Astros meeting in Houston.  That game will actually be on real Fox, instead of Fox Sports One.

All Times Central:

3:07 PM:  Washington at St. Louis (Washington leads 1-0) (TBS)
7:07 PM:  New York at Houston (Series tied 0-0) (FOX)

1 comment:

  1. I didn't understand all of the stuff going back and forth between Anibel Sanchez and Jose Martinez when the latter broke up the former's no-hitter, but it seemed really nice and great.