Jonathan Sanchez again looked ready to cry uncle and that was before he pitched to St. Louis Cardinals lead off hitter Matt Carpenter. Predictably, he hit a home run and so did the next hitter Carlos Beltran.
Currently Sanchez has an ERA of 12.71 and an 0-3 record to go with it. Perhaps his only highlight of the season was when it rained and he didn’t have to pitch. That’s how bad things have been.
For Pittsburgh Pirates fans this has become quite familiar but let’s focus on a familiar name. Let’s take the time machine back to 2008 and Matt Morris. Sound familiar? Well it should.
For a couple of weeks now, I have found these pitchers to be basically identical. High pitch counts for no reason, terrible first innings, very small peaks and major valleys.
Both pitchers have achieved success as Morris excelled as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals and Sanchez threw a no-hitter in addition to winning a World Series.
Exactly five years ago to the day, Morris took to the mound to face a formidable Philadelphia Phillies line up. I was at that game sitting in section 142. Morris lasted exactly 1 2/3 innings and 71 pitches before being taken out. Morris’s ERA at that point? A hefty 9.67.
Confidence shot, the Pirates knew this experiment was never going to work. Even then manager John Russell knew it was over. Morris was gone by Sunday off to retire and the writing was on the wall for Dave Littlefield as the team’s general manager.
Now, we have Sanchez who minus millions of dollars and the fact that he is a lefty has became an evil twin of Morris. Watching him struggle earlier this month against the Arizona Diamondbacks to the tune of 93 pitches in less than four innings is ridiculous. It is at the point where I am unsure if he knows where the ball is going. This again is additional proof that you cannot base everything you see on Spring Training.
This series opener was the final straw. Sanchez has lost his mojo, not that he had that much to start with. When he left the game after hitting Allen Craig, he walked away like a disgraced fighter out of his prime. Sanchez, like Morris has become a shell of himself and I would not be surprised if again, come Sunday, Sanchez rides off into the sunset. Enough is enough and if Clint Hurdle does not feel the same way after watching 8 innings in his office because of his ejection then something is seriously wrong. Is Francisco Liriano here yet?