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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:09 am 
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Nasty Five Completes Cycle


If Alberto Sanchez is as healthy as he looked last night, then there’s very little doubt that, top-to-bottom, the Yellow Springs Nine rotation is the best show in the game right now. He showed that tonight as the Indy Grasshoppers came to town for a series opener and became the victim of eight innings of Sanchez brilliance that resulted in the Nine’s third-straight shutout.

The Venezuelan veteran has been erratic since returning from a stint on the disabled list caused by a sprained elbow, but last night the left-hander struck out 7 hitters in 8 innings, giving up only three ineffectual hits while throwing 104 pitches.

“Classic Sanchez,” said first baseman Jose Gonzalez.

The victory makes him 7-7 on the season. It also represents a full pass through the rotation that resulted in three consecutive shut-outs, and in which none of the team’s five starters has given up more than a single run.

At 31, Sanchez is a solid veteran. He won 20 games in 2029 while posting a 2.98 ERA. His 13-9, 3.56 season last year was outstanding. Early in the season an argument could be made that he, along with LaLoosh, was carrying the team, but then he hit upon an unfortunate series of little injuries that added up. He lost time for a wrist in May, then forearm and the aforementioned elbow strain cost him a month and a half in June and July. Earlier this month, he fought through a back strain. He had made several rough starts since his return, but the team has stuck with him, putting him on the mound every five days, regardless.

“Alberto’s been a fighter,” said pitching coach Robert LaLoosh. “He won’t give up on us, so I won’t give up on him.”

Last night the team gave him three runs, including a first inning double from Gonzalez that gave him a lead he wouldn’t relinquish. “I knew we were going to win then,” Gonzalez said. “Alberto had that look in his eye. I knew he was back.”

Yes, for this night, Sanchez was certainly back. If that continues the rest of the year, the Nine will be quite happy.


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