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Tales from the Upper Lip

It's an extended winning streak! Unexpected as it may be, this streak is the longest of the young season. It will probably remain the longest streak of the season for quite some time. Probably for the entire season, actually. But that's not the kind of talk that's appropriate after two walk-off victories. Seize the moment, and all that. So today's more about singing the praises of a player whom I've been a little to quick to dismiss. For example....

Jonathan Sanchez

Oh. I get it now. It's not that the guy didn't have talent, it's just that he didn't have the reliable second (or third) pitch needed to be a starter. He had a good short-arm fastball, but not a great one, which probably made his ceiling a good-not-great reliever.

...But, yeah. I get it now. Just because a fastball isn't 97-mph, doesn't mean it can't be great, and that second pitch is now officially dirty (or filthy, depending on what part of the country you're in). I'd still trade him for a power-hitting, pre-arbitration corner infielder, but last night left me giddy about Sanchez for the first time since he was a double-A prospect. He has a swing-through fastball and a slider that can break down both lefties and righties, and all that stands between those two things and world domination is spotty control.

First reaction: zomgrandyjohnson!

Rebuttal to first reaction: Mike Remlinger

Addendum to the rebuttal: Hell, Remlinger had a good career as far as pitchers go. Most pitchers -- even those with electric stuff -- fizzle out.

Rebuttal to the rebuttal of the rebutted reaction: It's obviously idiotic to equate Jonathan Sanchez with a future inner-circle Hall-of-Famer. But I can't help it. I think of a devastating slider/fastball combination from the left side, and I think of one pitcher. It's the best template we have.

Sanchez isn't going to be one of the greatest pitchers in history, but I'm on board for his potential to snugly fit somewhere between Caincecum in a future rotation. Not as a number three or a number five, but as an equal partner in a hydra of rotational doom. I'm sorry I ever doubted that potential. I repent! I repent!

I, for one, welcome our new 27th-round overlord.