On June 29th, Jonathan Sanchez pitched seven innings against Oakland, striking out six and walking one. His ERA went down to 3.79, and he was fifth in the National League in strikeouts. Hearts were aflutter over the new complement to Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum. Instead of two of the best young pitchers in the league, the Giants had four. In my everlasting wisdom, I wrote:
Yeah, way to not jump the gun there, genius. Now Sanchez’s ERA is in the high-4s, and it seems that all of his promising starts were bunched up at the beginning of his season. The initial pegging was accurate.
Something to remember: Sanchez’s previous career high in innings pitched was 125 for the A-ball Suns in 2005. Wow. Last year, he only had 75 innings, and the season before that he finished with 95 combined innings. Sanchez is only two innings away from his career high
Another thing to remember: Sanchez has gone through ineffective stretches similar to this already this season. Over one three start stretch, Sanchez was unable to get out of the fourth inning twice, and unable to get out of the fifth inning in the other, while walking 15 in 13 innings.
Yet another thing to remember: Sanchez has averaged three walks a game and a little over five innings per start for most of the season. Maybe the recent struggles aren’t fatigue-related. Maybe the sub-4.00 ERA was always a mirage, and the control problems were bound to catch up with him.
The problem: what to do with Jonathan Sanchez as the season winds down. The solution: we will know shortly, after this blazing display of democracy in action: