How was your week

Posted: October 12, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Did you have Anibal Sanchez throwing 7 2/3d no-hit innings and leading the Washington Nationals to a 2-0 win in Game  of the National League Championship Series. If you where predicting or expecting this type of outing from Sanchez you’re better at picking baseball than I am. I actually questioned the choice of starting Sanchez last night, but it was clear the Nationals and their manager Dave Martinez knew what they had in the veteran starter.

There always seem to be certain things that you need in a no-hitter and it seemed like Sanchez had those going for him last night. Sanchez had good command of his fastball and even though he’s not a hard thrower get strikes and outs with the fastball is important. Sanchez also had all of his off speed pitches working for him. The only thing that seemed to be missing was a great defensive play. Ryan Zimmerman ended up providing that in the bottom of the 8th inning. Tommy Edman hit a line drive that looked like it was ticketed for rightfield when Zimmerman dove to his right. Zimmerman had to fully extend his body, but he made the catch to preserve the no-hitter.

Paul DeJong was the next batter for the Cardinals. DeJong went after the first pitch an hit a routine flyball to centerfield for the second out of the inning. Jose Martinez was announced as a pinch hitter and stepped into the batters box for his at bat.

Martinez has been a very good pinch hitter for the Cardinals this post season. In the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves Martinez had three pinch hit appearance. In those three at bats Martinez came through with two hits.

Martinez worked the count to full and pushed Sanchez pitch total over the 100 mark. Sanchez threw his 103rd pitch of the night which was a change-up to Martinez who hit that pitch into centerfield to break up the no-hitter attempt and end Sanchez’s night.

In his 7 2/3rds inning of work Sanchez threw those 103 pitches; 67 for strikes. Out of the 27 batters Sanchez faced he threw 20 first pitch strikes. He allowed just the 1 hit to Martinez, he walked 1 and struck out 5 while also hitting 2 batters.

Sanchez left the Nationals with a 2-0 lead and turned the game over to a much maligned bullpen. To make things even a little more interesting for that Nationals Bullpen they where without their closer Daniel Hudson who is on paternity leave because of the birth of his daughter.

The Nationals turned to Sean Doolittle who did have 29 saves during the regular season, but also had an ERA of 4.05. Washington was looking at Doolittle to get a 4 out save in Game 1 of the NLCS.

Doolittle got Dexter Fowler to ground out to end the 8th inning. Kolten Wong tried to bunt hos way on to start the bottom of the 9th for St. Louis, but Doolittle was able to make the play and get the out at 1st base. The play was reviewed, but the call stood. Paul Goldschmidt grounded out for the 2nd out of the inning and then Doolittle struck out Marcell swinging to end the game and give the Nationals a 2-0 win in Game 1.

Sanchez’s run at a no-hitter overshadowed the quality performance that the Cardinals got out of their Game 1 starter Miles Mikolas. Mikolas pitched threw 6 innings giving up 7 hits, but holding Washington to just 1 run while striking out 7 and walking 2. Mikolas threw 98 pitches; 67 of those for strikes.

Washington got their only run off of Mikolas in the top of the 2nd inning. Howie Kendrick started the inning with a double, but Mikolas got the next two hitters out before Yan Gomes hit another double to drive Kendrick in and give Washington a 1-0 lead.

In the top of the 7th Giovanny Gallegos came out of the Cardinals bullpen to replace Mikolas. Gallegos got the first out of the inning, but Adam Eaton followed that up with a triple. Anthony Rendon was intentional walked putting runners on 1st and 3rd. Gallegos was taken out of the game for left hander Andrew Miller who was brought in to face Juan Soto. Miller struck Soto out for the 2nd out if the inning. Miller was then removed for right hand pitcher John Brebbia. Kendrick greeted Brebbia with a single driving in Eaton and giving the Nationals that 2-0 lead.

It’s a pretty quick turn around for these teams as they have the afternoon game today. Adam Wainwright will make the start for St. Louis while Max Scherzer gets the start for Washington.

The 37 year old Wainwright had a fantastic start in the NLDS against the Braves. Wainwright pitched 7 2/3rd shutout inning. He struck out and walked 2 in that start. Can he give the Cardinals another start like that in what is almost a must win type of game for St. Louis.

Scherzer has made three post season appearances this year. He got a no decision in the wild card game against the Milwaukee Brewers. He went 5 inning s giving up 3 run while walking 3 and striking out 6. Scherzer worked an inning of relief in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers. He threw one inning of relief and picked up a hold as he struck out 3 in his one inning. Then Scherzer came back as a starter in Game and got the win. He went 7 innings giving up just 1 run while walking 3 and striking out 7.

I forgot to mention that if Sanchez would’ve been successful in his no-hit bid he would’ve been the third pitcher to throw a no-hitter in post season history. Sanchez would’ve joined Roy Halladay and Don Larsen as pitchers who threw post season no-hitters.

This also would’ve been the second no-hitter of Sanchez’s career. Back in 2006 when Sanchez was a rookie with the Miami Marlins he no-hit the Arizona Diamondbacks in just the 13th start of his career. Sanchez was 22 years old when he no-hit the Diamondbacks. He’s now 35 years old and if he would’ve completed the no-hitter he would’ve had the second largest gap between no-hitters. Only Randy Johnson would have had a bigger one.

Do you have the Cardinals bouncing back and winning Game 2? Or do you see the Nationals taking both games in St. Louis and heading home with a commanding two games to none lead?

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Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime


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