Sanchez vs. Mauer

It seems like more than four weeks ago that Anibal Sanchez set a franchise record with 17 strikeouts against the Braves. That, too, was on a Friday night, although the weather seemed a lot warmer that night than this one.

That night, Sanchez seemed truly unhittable. It was the perfect combination of Sanchez with nasty stuff against a Braves lineup that would chase it out of the strike zone.

This game was different. It was tough to look at his results early and think he was going to take a no-hitter into the ninth inning. He was falling behind hitters early, walking two of Minnesota’s first six hitters, and he wasn’t going to get away with that against hitters like Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Josh Willingham. Even Jamey Carroll, given his experience, is not an easy out.

Only the Astros have a worse record than the Twins, but the Twins have a much better lineup. And as well as Sanchez pitched through the middle innings, he was going to have to come back around to get Carroll, Mauer, Willingham and Morneau again.

There’s a reason why Mauer has been in a position to break up three no-hit bids in the ninth inning. Where he hits in the Twins order, a pitcher is going to have to retire him four times unless he has faced somewhere around the minimum number of hitters.

“It’s really hard to face that guy four times or five times in one game and dominate,” Sanchez said of Mauer. “This guy, he’s so smart. I tried to make my best pitch.”

Mauer faced Sanchez in two games last season following Sanchez’s trade from the Marlins. Mauer had four singles, including three line drives to different parts of the outfield, a walk and a groundout. Sanchez retired him three times in the season-opening series in Minneapolis last month, but one was a fly ball to deep center field.

When Sanchez fanned Mauer twice on Friday, he did something very few Tigers starters have been to accomplish against him. His multi-strikeout games against Detroit are few and far between, once a season from 2009 to now until he did it a second time Friday.

Yet if any hitter can shrug that off, it’s Mauer.

“Every time I go up there, I try to get a hit or get on-base or do something positive on the offensive side,” Mauer said. “We got one hit. It doesn’t take away what he did tonight. Sanchez was great. Obviously it nice to get a hit there at the end, but we still lost.”

Mauer said he hit a cutter. Sanchez and Alex Avila said he hit a breaking ball.

“It may have been the only mistake he made all game,” Willingham said.

It had to seem familiar for Gavin Floyd. Mauer got him for a single with one out in the ninth to break up his no-hit bid on May 6, 2008. Two years later, Mauer got Neftali Feliz, the fourth pitcher of Texas’ no-hit bid on August 23, 2010.

Since then, no-hit bids have become a lot more common. Yet as the season heads into Memorial Day weekend, the 2013 season is still awaiting its first no-no. Sanchez was the fourth pitcher this year to take a no-hitter into the eighth inning, all of them broken up. According to STATS, 12 no-hit bids lasted into the eighth inning last year, with half of them being completed.

19 Comments

Well, at least it was a solid hit that wrecked the no-no I guess. A no-hitter isn’t easy no matter what team you’re facing. Still so many positives with the starting pitching, and getting the win.

http://minoringinbaseball.com/

According to gameday, it was curveball

Too bad Sanchez – what a terrific game – that tiger killer Mauer got us again. Great night of baseball to watch!

Brag on the hitters and one of the starting pitchers will shine that night!!! Are our starters #2 in wins in MLB? I see the St Louis Cards starters have more wins than our five. Check the records for this. How many pitches did Verlander throw during the no-no in Canada. How many strikeouts did he get?? We will pay soon for those 130 pitches last night. Go Tigers!!!!!!

How many did he throw the game before when he was removed early? Do those things even out over the long haul?

JV threw a (then) career high 127 pitches the game before his no-hitter against the Blue Jays.

Although I think some guys probably need a pitch count, I’m not much of a fan of the idea. Take Sanchez for example, he didn’t look close to gassed to me when he hit the 100 pitch mark. I remember guys like Spahn and Marichal hooking up and throwing what, 250 plus pitches in a single game? And their careers lasted forever. It seems more of an individual thing to me. I guess I favor Nolan Ryan’s position on pitch counts for the most part.

Marichal and Spahn worked out of 4-man rotations. They didn’t miss starts. And I think Ryan threw 259 pitches in a !974 game.

Against Atlanta late in April Anibal K’d 17 while throwing 121 pitches over eight innings. What happened his next two starts?? Well, he lost them. He was not horrible but he fell behind early in both games. Let’s be honest about this. Do we want Anibal lights out once a month or do we want him consistent four or five times a month with a good chance of getting three wins most months?? What is the best way for Anibal to have a fifteen and nine record at the end of the year ?? His next match up will be the Pirates in Pittsburgh. Hopefully he gets off to a good start the first innings of that one. He can do it. In fact, he did it last September in his last two starts of our championship season. He shut out the Royals in Detroit and nearly shut out the Twins in their park. Not sure what the pitch counts were in those games. Anybody know, my computer will not let me get back to past seasons data!!
Not sure why.

“Alvin, do you see that man pitching on the other side?” Marichal told him. “He’s 42 and I’m 25, and you can’t take me out until that man is not pitching.”

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/the_bonus/06/28/kaplan.spahn.marichal/index.html#ixzz2UKQAmcKk

Baseball has been played for well over one hundred years and that might be my personal favorite quote from our grand old game. Thanks, El Tigre. Right now Sanchez is pitching much like he did his rookie season when he threw a no-no and had a sub 3.00 . No doubt about the guy has a special game. Now what is best so we do not see any of those inningsless years like 07, 08, 09??? Did they mess up an operation or two?? How did he miss three seasons?

Surgery to repair a tear in his labrum in 2007.

The Tigers starters ERA: 3.77 12 th in MLB.
Fister for a change and Scherzer as usual have received a ton of RS while Sanchez and Verlander none. Sanchez leads the team in ERA with 5-4 to show for it ( it was the same in Florida, his numbers as I said many times are parallel to Scherzer´s )

After a good showing by Garcia to the bench:
Alineación de hoy vs. MIN: Dirks 7, Hunter 9, Cabrera 5, Fielder 3, Martinez DH, Peralta 6, Pena 2, Infante 4, Kelly 8. Fister comienza.
He is better glove than Kelly

For some unknown reason, I have been receiving the spanish version before the english version this week at tweeter

Since AJ went to the DL we now after four straight wins have an overall 7-5 record with him out of the line up. Not the way we envisioned CF but the ship is sailing well. Just think BEFORE the Prince Fielder signing our manager was planning to platoon players at 2B, 3B, DH, LF in 2012. This almost etched in stone set up is very unLeyland like. Gotta let him have some fun!!!

If it will help Kelly, I can again say something about JL giving him too many starts.

THERE’S that video of ” well played Mauer.” All right!

Did anyone else notice Sanchez shaking off the sign right before Mauer’s hit?

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