Blog Entry

Giants' Sanchez paints his masterpiece

Posted on: July 11, 2009 2:02 am
Edited on: July 11, 2009 3:13 am

San Francisco has two legitimate candidates to start Tuesday's All-Star Game in National League Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain. The Giants have another starter with five Cy Youngs who has thrown one no-hitter and one perfect game in Randy Johnson. And they have a fourth starter with a Cy Young award in Barry Zito.

Yet it was a little known, unheralded underachiever who turned up the heat on the meat-less San Diego Padres on a cool Friday night by the Bay and fired the Giants' first no-hitter since John "The Count" Montefusco in 1976.

Jonathan Sanchez has no such stylish nickname, and he had been bumped from the rotation three weeks ago because he was so ineffective. He had never thrown a complete game in the majors. He had won only two games for the Giants this season, and none since May 25.

Yet for one incredible evening, in an 8-0 triumph, he was as dominant as any of his bigger-named rotation mates has been.

For one incredible evening, he threw the same magic as Juan Marichal and Gaylord Perry, each of whom also produced no-hitters as a Giant.

Now, maybe this is what propels Sanchez to the dizzying heights the Giants have long thought he could attain. And if it does, that should be one scary thought for opponents scheduled to face a team already rich in pitching.

Until now, Sanchez, 26, mostly was one of those names that kept popping up in trade rumors. It happened endlessly last winter.

But Giants general manager Brian Sabean was adamantly against the idea of dealing the rough-around-the-edges left-hander, even though it was clear that what the Giants needed to do was figure out a way to score more runs and maybe Sanchez could have been a chip to help them add those pieces.

One Pablo Sandoval and one Travis Ishikawa later, the Giants still don't hang crooked numbers on the board very often.

But they can pitch with the best of them, and this is why the Giants have a real chance to become the surprise team of 2009.

One night after Lincecum carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, Sanchez finished the job against the Padres.

He was 2-8 with a 5.30 ERA when he threw his first pitch to rookie Everth Cabrera, just another arm with a lot to learn. He had 68 strikeouts in 69 2/3 innings, but he also had walked 46 and had major difficulty with opponents after the first two times through the order.

Just 109 pitches later, maybe Sanchez sees things now that he didn't before. Granted, the Padres aren't very good -- especially this lineup, with David Eckstein and Brian Giles on the disabled list -- but they still run All-Star Adrian Gonzalez out there.

Sanchez worked his fastball early, got ahead of hitters, and used his curve beautifully. On this night, he didn't struggle with his control. He hit his spots. And he gave the Giants a preview of what could be.

Going into this season, Sabean said he couldn't imagine trading Sanchez because the Puerto Rico native was bigger and stronger.

Four months later, Sanchez remains a work in progress.

But he's never looked bigger, or stronger.

The Giants look pretty good themselves right now, too.


Since: Nov 11, 2006
Posted on: July 11, 2009 11:05 pm

Giants' Sanchez paints his masterpiece

Trade him to Washington monday for Dunn, we know we got  the pitching, we need the power,  HUM-BABY....O SHIT update Matt Cann hurt so much for monday

Since: Jul 11, 2009
Posted on: July 11, 2009 7:50 pm

Giants' Sanchez paints his masterpiece

It was a no-hitter with zero walks .... against major league hitters .... give him his due .... by the way first Giant no hitter by left hander , since 1920's and first (by any Giant ) since the 70's !

Since: Jun 21, 2008
Posted on: July 11, 2009 7:34 pm

Giants' Sanchez paints his masterpiece

A no-no is a no-no.. I don't see anyone else doing it against the padres, or any other crappy MLB team..

Great work Sanchez... Hopefully he can continue to play well and truely make a name for himself.. I've always liked this kid, and hope to see him excel..

Since: Nov 17, 2006
Posted on: July 11, 2009 6:57 pm

Giants' Sanchez paints his masterpiece

Sorry to burst your bubbles. This no-hitter was more a result of a lousy Padre offense. Look at the averages. Even Adrian Gonzalez is mired in a huge slump without any decent hitters behind him. This is by far the worst offense in the league. If Sanchez faced any other team last night, he does not throw a shut out let alone no-hitter.

Facts are facts, The Padres have failed to get a hit in 17 of their 18 innings. This is not due to their horrible offense not Sanchez. So please step away from putting him in the hall of fame and keep it in perspective. He is a below average pitcher that got very very lucky. In a few years he will be frogotten and a very brief footnote in history and will mean nothing to anyone except Giant fans.

Since: Jun 4, 2008
Posted on: July 11, 2009 5:48 pm

Giants' Sanchez paints his masterpiece

  It's hard to believe that Giant pitching had gone so many years since their last no hitter. At 51 years of age, a lifetime Giants fan, here is hoping that this crop of current pitchers will have what it takes to get the Giants over the hump. Only the Indians and the Cubbies have waited longer than us. I hope Sabean will not trade him. I'm still aching over the big $ they gave to Zito and even hurting more when I look at what Nathan has been doing for the Twins!

Since: Jun 28, 2007
Posted on: July 11, 2009 4:54 pm

Giants' Sanchez paints his masterpiece

Trade him now trade him now trade him now!!!

Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: July 11, 2009 2:59 pm

Giants' Sanchez paints his masterpiece

If that had just hit Uribe on that bad hop and he didn't then boot the ball, I wonder if he had a play. If they were being kind to the pitcher they may have still scored him with an error, but that ball was hit hard and took a bad hop. That could've very well been scored a base hit if he didn't boot that. Who knows, the error may have actually saved him.

Since: Sep 9, 2007
Posted on: July 11, 2009 2:31 pm

Giants' Sanchez paints his masterpiece

In the postgame interviews, Randy Johnson spoke at length about his mentoring relationship with Sanchez and the rest of the staff.  BUT WAIT, he is on the DL and there he was in uniform supporting his team.  If Barry Bonds was on the DL, he would have been at home in his barcolounger cheating on his wife.  Randy Johnson = CLASS  Barry Bonds = **ASS

Since: Mar 14, 2007
Posted on: July 11, 2009 1:42 pm

Giants' Sanchez paints his masterpiece

What a great game by Sanchez. Wasnt able to see the whole game but I saw enough. I didnt even realize that it was a no hitter until I saw the line in the 9th inning (wasnt paying to much attention when I saw who was pitching I just assumed...silly me). Its just to bad Uribe made that error losing the perfect game unless Im mistaken. Im just hoping this is a sign of things to come for the rest of the year. Good luck to the Giants.  

Since: Feb 15, 2008
Posted on: July 11, 2009 12:20 pm

Giants' Sanchez paints his masterpiece

I'm not a Giants fan but I have to say that was a great pitching performance to watch. I love the underdog. This no-hitter came from a guy NO ONE expected to even pitch very well. Goodluck to him in the future Giants fans. If this is a sign of things to come your team is gonna be downright scary in the starting rotation.

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