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.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.