Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Jonathan Sanchez: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

"Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get." - Forest Gump

Forest Gump's famous quote perfectly sums up Jonathan Sanchez as a pitcher. He drives San Francisco Giants fans nuts. Sanchez can sometimes give the perfect dark chocolate morsel that you are craving and sometimes he goes out there and he is a gross coconut thing that chocolatiers put in there to mess with your head.

There are days where Sanchez looks like he is an ace of the staff and last night was certainly one of those nights. He was in perfect rhythm after a tough 1st inning and then just blew through the Rockies potent lineup. He struck out 7 straight batters and it looked like it was easy for him.

The strike outs have always been there, he is second in k/9 in the National League and 10th in strikeouts and the only reason he is not higher is because he doesn't have as many innings as the other leaders. At the same time he leads all of baseball in walks.

He is a hard guy to hit but he always seems to give teams too many chances with free passes and by falling behind in the count. When he doesn't have the right mind frame he beats himself.

Then there are days where you have no idea where his head is and he will walk the bases loaded through a couple of wild pitches and give up a bloop 2 run single that knocks him out of the game before the end of the third inning.

Here is a graph of his game scores for the season. A quick explanation of the game score, it is a stat created by Bill James to quantify how well a pitcher did, anything above 50 is considered a quality start.

As you can see Sanchez has thrown some gems this season, with the game last night only ranking as his third best according to game score. The maddening part is he has so much trouble keeping away from the disaster games.

I will say that this season has been much better then the rest of his career for consistency but that is only because it was incredibly volatile before.

Thinking about Sanchez is enough to make one go insane. When he shows the flashes of brilliance he is an exciting player to watch other times it makes you want to cover your eyes and switch the channel. There also seems to be no rhyme or reason for the fluxuations, one day he is demoted to the bullpen the next day he is one error away from a perfect game.

You never know and that is what drives us crazy.

If your on Twitter you should definitely follow the The Crazy Crabbers. If you're not you should really consider joining, lots of good stuff going on there.

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