I picked a great day to return to the Complex to cover an XST game. Sixto Sanchez took the mound as the starter and pitched three innings. The day was further enhanced when Zach Green was inserted into the line up in the three hole as the DH.
June 1, 2017 at home v. the Yankees
Sanchez looked fine. His fastball was nicely in the mid 90s from the start. He recorded his first strike out (swinging) in the second inning on 97 MPH heat. He closed out the second with a crippling backward K on an 82 MPH change up. He began the third inning with another strike out on an 82 MPH change that he set up with a 98 MPH fastball on the previous pitch. He did give up an RBI triple to right center field but it sounded like the bat splintered on contact. He closed out his day with a whiff at a 97 MPH heater.
Sanchez final line was 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K. The only hard hit ball was the triple. Both singles he allowed were ground balls through the infield. Sanchez may be headed back to Lakewood soon. Personally, I thought that his fastball was as good as ever, but he seemed to lack full command of his change up. He threw it a lot in the third inning, and it led to his only walk. He fell behind 3-0 on three change ups, fired two strikes with his fastball, then lost the batter with a change that kind of hung. (Note: after the triple, Sanchez motioned emphatically toward the catcher. I expected him to fire fastballs. He got two quick strikes on 79 MPH curve balls. I think that is telling. I bought into the machismo and he fooled everyone with probably the only CB he threw all afternoon.)
Zach Green sent 1-3. He lifted a soft line drive single to left in his first at bat. He skied a fly ball to center in his second at bat and went 1-4 on the day. He looks a little rusty, but should be able to help Clearwater as their DH in a week or so. Maybe sooner.
Andrew Brown followed Sanchez. Andrew has a high 80s fastball and the Yankees were probably grateful to have Sanchez out of the game. Brown pitched well even though he took the loss. He pitched 3.0 innings and gave up 2 unearned runs. He allowed 3 hits, all singles, walked two, and struck out one. Brown’s FB was 87-90 MPH today.
Jose Jimenez pitched the final 3.0 innings. He had a better fastball than I remember from his first appearance. He lit up the gun at 90-92 MPH. He had an interesting outing. The first batter he faced was ruled out for interfering with the catcher on a ball in play. He gave up a triple to the next batter who was thrown out at home when he broke for the plate on a ball hit to the third baseman. He completed the inning by picking the runner off first base. He recorded a walk and a strike out in his second inning as well as spearing a line drive at his ankles. There was another interference in his third inning, an error on the first base man for a dropped throw. He walked another batter and threw a wild pitch. In all quite an interesting set of plays. His line 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, WP.
The Phillies tied the game in the bottom of the third. Second baseman, Keudy Bocio led off with a single and stole second. He scored on Josh Stephens line drive, RBI triple down the right field line. Greg Pickett picked up their fourth hit with a double down the line in the fifth inning. Luis Encarnacion lofted a bloop single to right in the seventh. The Phillies entered the ninth trailing 3-1. Enmannuel Garcia crushed a ball over the left field fence to pull within one run. Alex Wojciechowski ground a single to left to get the tying run on base, but that was the last hit for the Phillies.
During the game, Randy Alcantara and Dennis Martinez pitched a simulated game on a neighboring field.
I learned that Francisco Morales pitched three strong innings against the Tigers on Tuesday. His FB was at 93 MPH. He pitches again Monday in Bradenton. (Yo, Mark!)
Aaron Brown and Harold Martinez checked in on rehab assignments.