Giants Concerned as Jonathan Sanchez Comes Up Short Again in Game 3
You can add this one: Tired Sanchez.
That's the one who has the Giants worried.
After Sanchez gave up four runs and couldn't get out of the fifth inning in the Giants 4-2 loss to the Rangers in Game 3 of the World Series, pitching coach Dave Righetti said Sanchez's lost velocity has become an area of concern.
"It bothers me a little bit," Righetti said. "It's the end of the year. He's a young kid ... but it's short. After a rest, too, so it's something to be looked at. There's no question."
Sanchez is in line to make his next start in Game 7. Of the World Series.
When asked if the Giants would have to "have a conversation" about whether Sanchez should start that game if the series gets there, Righetti said: "Damn right, absolutely."
What options do the Giants have? Not many. They'd probably have to start rookie Madison Bumgarner on three days' rest, and he is also a young guy who has had a heavy workload. The other almost unthinkable choice would be Game 5 starter Tim Lincecum on two days' rest.
If the Giants determine that Sanchez is hurt -- and Righetti said he'll check -- they could remove him from the roster and replace him with Barry Zito.
But that's a story for another day. A day the Giants hope not to see.
They are still up 2-1 in the series, so if they can win two of next three games, they won't have to worry about Game 7. In the meantime, Sanchez's bad start let the Rangers back into a series that the Giants had seemingly under control after they won the first two games.
When Game 3 began, and when Righetti looked up and saw that his fastballs were registering 88-89 mph instead of their normal 92-93, he had the same thought as he had when he noticed that in Game 6 in Philadelphia: "Oh (shoot)."
Righetti said Sanchez actually has the ability to get outs at that velocity, but the problem is he tries to overthrow to compensate, and that hurts his command.
The big blow that hurt him in this game was a inside sinker to No. 9 hitter Mitch Moreland, which Moreland belted for a two-out three-run homer in the second inning. Sanchez said he was actually pitching around No. 8 hitter Bengie Molina to get to Moreland, a lefty.
"I can't give up homers to lefties," Sanchez said. "Lefty on lefty, if you can't pitch good to them, you are in trouble."
Another lefty burned him in the fifth. He hung a slider to Josh Hamilton, who hit a solo homer. Sanchez followed that by walking Vladimir Guerrero, which isn't easy to do, and that was the end of his night.
Afterward, Sanchez said he didn't feel fatigued or that his velocity wasn't up to par.
"I feel pretty good," he said. "I'm still healthy."
Catcher Buster Posey conceded that something was missing, though. Asked if Sanchez had lost some velocity, he said: "Maybe a little bit. Not too bad. He's still got some life on the heater. It's Oct. 30. It's been a long season. He's going out and battling. That's all you can ask."
Sanchez has now pitched 213 1/3 innings, after reaching a career-high of 163 1/3 innings last year. Righetti said he hoped that the six days off after his two-inning Game 6 start in the NLCS would help him bounce back, but it didn't.
"He's a young guy that's been through a lot and carried us here," Righetti said. "He's going to say he's fine. I know he is, but yeah, it's definitely a concern. I understand it's the end of the year, 200-some innings and 30-some starts. If you are healthy, fine, but still his stuff is short. That makes it harder for a guy to compete who is used to having it."
The FanHouse TV crew breaks down Game 3 from all angles, including what went wrong for Jonathan Sanchez.