Ther's a great Star Trek episode (okay, most of them are great) where a transporter accident splits Captain Kirk into good and evil halves. The evil half got most of the screen time, and come to think of it he looked a lot like Jonathan Sanchez.
On Thursday it was (finally) the good Kirk, uh, Sanchez, who made an appearance -- surrendering just two hits in eight innings in a 5-2 win against the Philliles to capture a game the Giants pretty much had to have. San Francisco trails the Padres by six games it the NL West (yeah, they're done) but have crawled back to within a game of the Phills for the charity pass into the playoffs.
So, after a season of relentless bagging on Sanchez, am I willing to relent? Sure. And I'm also planning on voting Republican, going vegetarian, and painting my den Dodger blue. He had a great game. Fine. How can a guy with stuff like that go 9-8? Figure that out and you can replace both Sabean and Bochy. Until then, the adage about blind squirrels finding acrorns comes to mind.
Can't say too much aboout the game because, quite frankly, I only saw bits and pieces. Just knowing Sanchez was on the mound and the offense wasn't hitting worth a farthing was enough to send me scurrying for alternative forms of entertainment. There was a doubles tournament on The Parcheesi Channel and there's always Dodgeball on ESPN 8 (The Ocho), not to mention Bravo's marathon of The Real Houswives of Fresno. Tough call.
I will note that his outing, one hit and just 100 pitches before he started to look mortal, caused a change in my schedule. The pitchforks and torches have been closeted temporarily while my friends and I have delayed our plans for Jonathan Sanchez night -- at which time we'd planned to burn him in effigy (or in person if available).
Dude, you have a reprieve. Don't blow it.
The offense woke up, sort of. Freddy Sanchez scored twice, both times being doubled in by Posey (with an assist from Shane Victorino's MLS audition). Pat Burrell drew a walk, which wouldn't be noteworthy except the Giants had gone 94 PAs without one. Even Guillen got a pair of safeties. An immediate investigation was launched by the commissioner's office. Screw Roger Clemens, we gotta get to the bottom of this, and now.
Of course, the Giants still gave us reason for worry. Sanchez opened up the ninth with a line shot and a 2-0 count before getting the hook. Yep, two-hit shutout (at the time) or not, he was turning back into the evil Kirk -- displaying the slumped shoulders and hang dog expression that usually precedes a nuclear meltdown. Sergio Romo was awful in relief, and what had been a five-run lead got more than a little uncomfortable before Brian Wilson slammed the door.
The sticks still are a reason for concern. Five straight hits in the first inning netted three runs, and not much thereafter. The offense did nothing after the fourth except provide some high comedy, courtesy the Panda. When the ball is in play, drop the piano and run, genius. His considerable physical failings are starting to become an afterthought when put up against the mental mistakes. He also failed to cover third on a steal attempt, so clearly he's not all there.
Anyone seen Ryan Rohlinger lately?
But, for a night the win at least keeps the wolves away from the door. The Giants head to St Louis for three, then come home for a trio with the Reds. They can look forward to nine more games with the hapless D-backs (six of those at AT&T), but they need to beat the wildcard contenders for those games to matter. It starts now.
Live Long and Prosper.