Davey Martinez told MLB Network Radio hosts Jim Bowden and Steve Phillips earlier this week that he loves Aníbal Sánchez and has for years, long before the 35-year-old signed with the Washington Nationals, taking a 2-year/$19M free agent deal this winter.
“He might not have his best stuff, but he’s going to figure out a way to get you out,” he said, “and that’s what I love about him.”
“He competes, he knows himself better than anybody, and he’s got 5-6 different pitches he’s going to throw at you to get you out.”
Sánchez got three ground ball outs from the first three batters he faced in a seven-pitch, 1-2-3 top of the first, but a grounder up the middle of the infield off of Starlin Castro’s bat got through for a leadoff single in the top of the second.
Sánchez jumped on a bunt attempt by Lewis Brinson, firing a strike to first to get an out that advanced the Marlins’ first runner, then he popped Miguel Rojas up for out No. 2, and hustled over to first on a ground ball to the right side and received a throw from Brian Dozier for the third out of the frame.
Bryan Holaday hit a one-out double to right-center field and over the outfield wall on a hop on a low fastball from Sánchez in the top of the third inning, but the right-hander dropped a 3-2 change in under Curtis Granderson’s bat for out No. 2 and his first strikeout of the night, then fielded a swinging bunt from Martin Prado and threw to first to end a 19-pitch frame to finish three scoreless at 34 pitches.
Brinson lined a two-out single to left field off Sánchez in the fourth, on a fastball up and out over the plate, and Miguel Rojas hit a check-swing single over second base on a 75 mph 1-1 breaking ball down in the zone for the Marlins’ fourth hit of the game, but the Nats’ starter’s 55th pitch of the night, an 86 mph, 2-1 fastball, got a weak ground ball to third from Garrett Cooper for the final out of the inning.
Aníbal Sánchez’s Line: 4.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 55 P, 10/0 GO/FO.
Bullpen Action: Aaron Barrett got the fifth for the Nationals, once Sánchez was done for the night, and the right-hander gave up a 2-out bomb on a 2-0 pitch to Curtis Granderson that ended up on the berm behind the right field wall in the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, 1-0.
Erick Fedde gave up back-to-back singles to the first two batters he faced in the top of the sixth, and one out later left a slider up in the zone that Miguel Rojas lined to center field for an RBI single and a 2-0 lead.
Fedde worked around a two-out double and completed a scoreless seventh inning at 40 pitches.
Perfect: Miami’s pitchers, Pablo Lopez and Wei-Yin Chen, held the Nationals hitless through seven innings tonight, and didn’t give up much that was really well-struck either, outside of Carter Kieboom’s fly to deep left in the seventh, which fell into Gabriel Guerrero’s glove on the track for the 19th of 21-straight outs.
Pablo's split action reaction dot mp4 pic.twitter.com/q6NAYV4eEn— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) March 10, 2019
Back to the bullpen?: Kyle McGowin retired the Marlins in order in a 12-pitch, 1-2-3 eighth in which he showed off a nasty curveball.
No Longer Perfect: Pedro Severino took Wei-Yin Chen’s 43rd pitch of the night out to right for a one-out single and the Nationals’ first hit 23 batters into the game. Huzzah!
Moar Bullpen: Scott Copeland kept it a 2-0 game with a scoreless top of the ninth inning, and Carter Kieboom made it a one-run game with a high fly to left off lefty Adam Conley that cleared the wall for a solo shot that broke up the combined shutout, 2-1.