Jonathan Sanchez’s career-long control problems continued yesterday, as he walked six and uncorked three wild pitches in six innings, but the Giants left-hander also struck out six and held the Brewers to one run on five hits for his seventh victory.
Sanchez improved to 7-6 with a 3.15 ERA on the year and also became the first pitcher since Darren Dreifort in 1999 to win a game in which he had six or more walks and three or more wild pitches.
Prior to Sanchez only 12 pitchers had successfully walked that tightrope during the past 50 seasons:
Jonathan Sanchez 2010
Darren Dreifort 1999
Juan Guzman 1994
Bobby Witt 1986
Rick Sutcliffe 1986
Joe Niekro 1985
Mike Moore 1983
Don Robinson 1982
Rick Sawyer 1976
Bart Johnson 1971
Jim Palmer 1969
Tony Cloninger 1966
Sam McDowell 1964
Sam McDowell is the only left-hander on that list, which means Sanchez is the first southpaw with six-plus walks and three-plus wild pitches in a win since way back in 1964.
Despite a .240 opponents’ batting average and 461 strikeouts in 452 career innings as a starter Sanchez is just 25-34 with a 4.54 ERA thanks largely to 227 walks. In other words, he definitely belongs on that list.
The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.
The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.
Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.
The matchups for Tuesday’s action:
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.
Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.
The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.