A night after Giant fans and the media couldn’t stop talking about spectacular defense, Alex Sanchez turned the talk into negative discussion (and a large number of catcalls), embarrassing himself in the field and playing a part, though not the biggest, in one of the worst Giant losses at SBC Park in it’s history.
The Florida Marlins pounded starter Brad Hennessey for 8 runs on 9 hits over 4.1 innings, and then they pounded demoted starter Kirk Rueter for 7 runs on 8 hits over 3.1 innings.
Hennessey was booed loudly by the crowd as he struggled with his control all night. His pitches were either missing the strike zone by a wide margin, or right down the heart of the plate. Carlos Delgado hit a home run that reminded many fans of Barry Bonds as it flew far into the cove. So did Michael Tucker in right, who didn’t even bother flinching on the hit. Miguel Cabrera hit his second home run in 2 nights on the next at bat.
But it was center fielder Alex Sanchez who had the fans who weren’t running to shield their eyes booing loudly or calling him things usually reserved for opposing outfielders. Although Sanchez received only one error on the night, he spent much of the 6th inning hurting the team. He couldn’t read a fly ball that went to the warning track that should’ve been a routine deep fly that turned into a double. He played timidly on balls hit in front of him that he might have been able to catch. And he missed the cutoff man 3 times and was even offline when trying to throw through to the bases. One throw from center that we assume was meant for 2nd base was eventually picked up by J.T. Snow at first.
After the game, Sanchez was declared to have sprained his elbow on one of his errant throws. Which one remains undetermined, though some fans commented that Sanchez couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn from the inside.
"I've never had a problem before," he said, hopefully about his elbow’s problems and not his play, as many Giant fans already have a distaste for his fielding after poor showings against the Oakland A’s and St. Louis Cardinals.
The night had begun on a joyous note, with Gaylord Perry getting his number 36 retired by the Giants before the contest. Perry was joined on the field by his family and several former teammates, including Willie McCovey, Willie Mays, Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda and Mike McCormick. The ceremony was a fun one, hosted by Lon Simmons and culminating in Perry being driven around the field in an Orange Ford Mustang with his newly retired number on the side.
Hopefully for most Giant fans, their memory stops with that.
SFDugout.com Player of the Game: Gaylord Perry. Frankly, no one on the team really deserves to be names, and Perry’s first pitch may have been the only pitch with enough movement to fool Marlins hitters. Of course, the catcher wiped his hand on the grass after catching the ball. Jokingly, we’re assuming.
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