This is why Brian Sabean didn’t trade Jonathan Sanchez for Jorge Cantu, Derrek Lee, or Al Oliver. Kenny Williams would have. Kenny Williams would have called every non-Giants team in the NL West to see if they had Al Oliver, and he would have traded Sanchez in a second. For all of the crap this site can shovel at Sabean’s feet, I think the most impressive thing he’s done in the past decade is refrain from trading Sanchez for pennies on the dollar. You know he was getting some interesting offers. Hey, for a team that was just a year or two removed from Jose Castillo, Dan Uggla really would look nice. And for an inconsistent lefty? That kind of deal makes itself.
There was a time where I would have traded Sanchez for Chris Davis and laughed all the way to the bank. Sabean didn’t. There was a time I would have traded Jonathan Sanchez for Edwin Encarnacion. Sabean didn’t. On a night that the Giants trounced the Dodgers and took over first place, Sabean has to get some credit. His restraint with Sanchez is the brightest feather in his cap. When Sanchez has his control, he’s a reasonable facsimile of Randy Johnson. You can’t just find those at Costco. Huzzah for Brian Sabean.
And Edgar Renteria in the leadoff spot? Inspired genius. His perfect bunt in the bottom of the third set up the back-to-back home runs from Aubrey Huff and Buster Posey, and he had a four-hit night overall. So raise your glass to Bruce Bochy. He put his chips on green double-zero, and he’s looking like a genius right now. With a six-run lead and Sanchez at 90 pitches, Bochy also made a smart September decision by giving the ball to the bullpen. This isn’t Dragon Warrior IV, and Sanchez wasn’t going to gain XP by finishing the eighth. Smart move, Boch.
So is this what first place does? It makes you sing the praises of Giants management? My god, it’s beautiful. I never want to leave! I never want to leave! First place is beautiful! They should have sent a poet! They...should...have...sent a poet!
Thus endeth the Giants/Dodgers series for the year. Think back to this game. The Giants lost 8-2 in the last game of a series that the Dodgers swept. Jonathan Sanchez imploded. The bullpen imploded. The Giants were in fourth place, looking up at the Dodgers. Doom. Gloom. At that point, the Giants were 1-5 against the Dodgers for the season. It was ugly.
They’ve gone 9-3 against the Dodgers since then. There was the Don Mattingly, oh-one-more-thing game. There was the immolation of Octavio Dotel and Jonathan Broxton, complete with four late homers game. There were great starts from Matt Cain, and there were great starts from Jonathan Sanchez. The Giants took the season series from the Dodgers, and when it was all over, the Giants were in first place.
Forget about the rest of the season, the pennant race, and any possible playoff series for right now. Just revel in tonight. The Giants took the season series from the Dodgers, and when it was all over, the Giants were in first place.
The Giants took the season series from the Dodgers, and when it was all over, the Giants were in first place.