Return of Dirty Sanchez — A closer look

San Francisco Giants

Jonathan Sanchez did not have the kind of outing he and the Giants hoped in his return from the disabled list on Friday.

Sanchez gave up five runs on seven hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings in a 9-2 loss Friday to the Phillies.

Dating back to his previous two starts before going on the DL on June 25, it was the third consecutive start that Sanchez failed to pitch through the fifth inning. But in some ways, there were signs of encouragement.

For one, it was the first time six starts that he didn’t walk at least three batters. However, being in the strike zone was not all good, as the seven hits he gave up tied a season-high — as did the five earned runs.

Sanchez sailed through the first three innings, giving up just one hit and one walk and facing just 10 batters.

The Phillies went 1 for 8 with a walk and GIDP the first time against Sanchez. The second time through they were 4 for 9 with two singles and two home runs.

But even that is a little bit deceiving. Shane Victorino hit a one-out home run on an 0-1 pitch in the fourth. The pitch wasn’t a terrible one, but Victorino saw it and hit it hard.

Then Chase Utley and Hunter Pence followed with singles, but Sanchez almost got out of the inning with just the one run. Raul Ibanez grounded to second, but he didn’t hit it hard enough for the Giants to turn an inning-ending double play. A run scored, the John Mayberry hit a 3-2 fastball that was below the strikeout for a two-run home run. Just like that, a one-run inning became a four-run inning.

In the fifth, the Phillies added a more Sanchez-like run. It started with a four-pitch leadoff walk to Jimmy Rollins, which turned into a stolen base, which turned into a run on a single by Placido Polanco.

So a bad outing that came very close to being a not-so-bad outing. We can hope, if not expect, better results next time against the lighter-hitting Pirates.

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