In four starts since coming off the Injured List, Aníbal Sánchez now has a 1.54 ERA in 23 1⁄3 innings pitched, after he held the Arizona Diamondbacks to two earned runs on six hits in six innings of work this afternoon in a 15-5 win for the Washington Nationals.
Sánchez received plenty of run support from the Nationals’ hitters, who connected 15 hits and scored 15 runs on the day, with Matt Adams (2), Kurt Suzuki, and Anthony Rendon all homering to lead the Nationals to a win in the series finale and a split of the four-game set with the D-backs in D.C.
Sánchez gets right: The Aníbal Sánchez the Nationals got in his previous three outings, after an IL stint for a hamstring issue, has been more what they expected when he took their offer of a 2-year/$19M deal last winter following a bounce-back campaign with the Braves in 2018.
In 17 1⁄3 IP in those starts, the 35-year-old, 14-year veteran gave up just two earned runs, (1.04 ERA) and held opposing hitters to a combined .153/.194/.254 line.
Sánchez gave up one in the first inning of this afternoon’s game when Ketel Marte, who hit two home runs in Saturday’s game, went yard again, hitting one out to right field, over the out-of-town scoreboard, on a 91 MPH 1-1 fastball, 1-0 D-backs. Marte’s 20th.
Sánchez retired seven straight hitters after giving up the home run in the first, but gave up back-to-back two-out singles by Jarrod Dyson and Marte in the top of the third, though he stranded both runners at the end of a 17-pitch frame that left him at 45 pitches after three.
Back-to-back, one-out hits in the D-backs’ fourth, a single by Ildemaro Vargas, and a double by Tim Locastro, set the D-backs up with runners on second and third, and a sac fly by Nick Ahmed brought in a run, 7-2.
Aníbal Sánchez uses cat-like reflexes to prevent Ildemaro Vargas from sneaking his way to 1st base. pic.twitter.com/XdTPyieBLV— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 16, 2019
Sánchez got a visit to the mound after two runners reached on a one-out single and hit-by-pitch in the sixth, but both runners were stranded at the end of a 24-pitch frame which left the Nationals’ starter at 98 pitches total...
Aníbal Sánchez’s Line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 Ks, 1 HR, 98 P, 62 S, 6/6 GO/FO.
Bradley vs the Nationals: Archie Bradley, who’s worked strictly as a reliever since 2017, was excited to learn he would get an opportunity to start this afternoon in Nationals Park, even though it was likely to be an abbreviated outing.
“We just felt like it was the right guy to give us a couple innings and see where that takes us,” D-backs’ manager Torey Lovullo said of the right-hander, who’s tossed 4 1⁄3 scoreless out of the pen over the last week, with a .111/.111/.167 line against over that stretch.
Though he knew he’d be on a strict pitch count, Bradley told AZCentral.com’s Richard Morin that he was just happy to get the opportunity.
“I’m just taking it for what they tell me,” Bradley said, “which is just to get the ball and go pitch. And whatever comes of it, I’m not trying to look ahead of it.”
Bradley took the mound with a 1-0 lead, courtesy of a Ketel Marte home run, but gave one right back, with back-to-back, one-out singles by Adam Eaton and Anthony Rendon, a base-loading walk to Juan Soto, and an RBI single by Howie Kendrick, 1-1.
One out later, Kurt Suzuki hit a two-out, two-run single to left-center to make it 3-1 Nats.
A one-out walk to Trea Turner, stolen base, and an RBI single by Adam Eaton made it 4-1 and ended Bradley’s outing after 43 pitches in 1 1⁄3 IP.
Archie Bradley’s Line: 1.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 Ks, 43 P, 29 S, 1/0 GO/FO.
Turner is Streaking: Trea Turner extended his on-base streak to 12-straight games when he tripled in his first trip to the plate in Saturday’s game, and went 3 for 5 overall, leaving him 17 for 50 (.340/.400/.740) with seven doubles, two triples, three home runs, and five walks in those 12 games.
Turner had hits in 10 of the 12 and at least one extra-base hit in nine of 12.
This afternoon, the 25-year-old shortstop walked in his second trip to the plate, extending his on-base streak to 13-straight games, then stole second, and scored on an RBI single by Adam Eaton.
BULLPEN ACTION: Zack Godley came on with a runner on and one out in the Nationals’ half of the second, and got two outs with one pitch when Anthony Rendon grounded into an inning-ending 4-3 DP. 4-1 Nationals after two.
Juan Soto and Howie Kendrick hit back-to-back singles off Godley to start the bottom of the third, and Matt Adams followed with a three-run shot on a 3-2 sinker that cleared the out-of-town scoreboard and made it 7-1.
It was 7-2 in the fifth when Kurt Suzuki hit a first-pitch sinker from Godley out to left field for a solo shot and an 8-2 lead. Suzuki’s 7th.
Anthony Rendon added to the lead with a two-out, two-run home run off Godley in the sixth, hitting a 1-0 curve into the left field bullpen for his 16th of 2019 and a 10-2 lead.
Tanner Rainey was the first reliever out of the pen for the Nats in the top of the seventh, and he gave up a two-out double by Ketel Marte and an RBI single by Eduardo Escobar, 10-3.
Javy Guerra worked around a leadoff single in a scoreless top of the eighth.
Lefty Stefan Crichton, who worked a scoreless seventh, came back in the eighth and gave up a two-out walk to Adam Eaton (3 for 3, 2 BB), a single to right by Anthony Rendon (3 for 5, HR), and then hit Juan Soto (1 for 3, BB, HBP) to load them up for Howie Kendrick (3 for 4, BB), whose RBI single made it 11-3, and Matt Adams (2 for 5, 2 HRs, 7 RBIs), who hit a grand slam to right field, 15-3.
Tony Sipp came on for the top of the ninth and gave up a two-out walk to Ketel Marte and an RBI single by Carson Kelly, 15-4. And Ildemaro Vargas added another RBI single, 15-5.
That’s how it ended. Ballgame.
Nationals now 33-38