Pittsburgh lefty Jonathan Sanchez started last night's game in St. Louis. His stat line reads as follows: 0.0 IP, 3 H, 2R, 2ER, 2 HR, 1 HBP. He faced four batters and threw all of 17 pitches, and then he was gone. He did not get hurt.
Matt Carpenter greeted Sanchez in the bottom of the first with a home run. Carlos Beltran promptly followed by doing the same. Two hitters, two homers, 2-0 Cardinals, thanks for coming. Matt Holliday was up next. He lashed a single to center. Then it was Allen Craig's turn. Sanchez's first pitch was a high fastball that came in on Craig and caught him on the shoulder. Home plate umpire Tim Timmons had seen enough. He ejected Sanchez on the spot. Clint Hurdle tried to argue. Timmons gave him the hook, too.
“You've got two home runs, and then you've got a line-drive single up the middle, and then the very first pitch is up around the shoulder and head area,” Timmons told a pool reporter. “He threw intentionally at him, and in that area I deemed that intentional, and he's done. Very dangerous.”
Sanchez had pitched beyond the fourth inning just once in his previous three starts. Another of his turns was rained out. His ERA is now 12.71. Hurdle said Sanchez would be available in the bullpen tonight, but he also said it was "too soon" to say whether he intends bump him from the rotation. That may happen when Francisco Liriano returns from his silly injury in the next two weeks, and it may happen sooner. But it is coming. Should this turn out to be Jonathan Sanchez's last stand in his brief time with the Pirates, it'll go down as one helluva way to go.