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Jonathan Sanchez ejected after throwing at Allen Craig’s head

Apr 26, 2013, 9:00 PM EDT

Jonathan Sanchez AP

Pirates starter Jonathan Sanchez‘s outing didn’t last long. Cardinals hitters Matt Carpenter and Carlos Beltran led off the bottom of the first with back-to-back solo home runs, and Matt Holliday followed up with a single on a line drive to center. Sanchez, who posted an 8.07 ERA in 15 starts last year, entered the night with an 11.12 ERA in his first three starts. Perhaps frustrated with his seemingly endless struggling, Sanchez appeared to intentionally throw a fastball at Allen Craig‘s head.

Home plate umpire Tim Timmons immediately ejected Sanchez from the game. Manager Clint Hurdle came out to protest the decision, ostensibly because Sanchez did not first receive a warning, and was ejected himself after shouting a few lascivious words.

Jeanmar Gomez came in to relieve Sanchez and put a halt to the Cardinal offense.

Click here for a .gif of the Sanchez pitch and ejection.

  1. flamethrower101 - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    This is the same guy that not 4 years ago threw a no-hitter against the Padres, right? Wow, like Humber, hard to imagine a guy who was at one point on top of the world now is at the bottom of the barrel, and probably lower.

    • ghostfishhunter - Apr 27, 2013 at 12:10 AM

      That was as perfect of a game as a perfect game can be and not be perfect. To call it a “no-hitter” does it no justice.

      • andrewproughcfe - Apr 27, 2013 at 2:41 AM

        Sanchez also picked up a World Series ring as the Giants’ fourth starter in 2010. He even had a little playoff success, with an 11K beauty that year against the Braves.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 27, 2013 at 7:31 AM

        Terry Mullholand’s no hitter was the same. Only one to reach reached on an error – and that guy was eliminated in a Double Play. No hit, no walks and he faced the minimum

    • baseballisboring - Apr 27, 2013 at 3:33 AM

      Once that velocity starts dipping it’s hard to survive as a starter with bad command. Ubaldo, Lincecum, Kazmir, Sanchez…

      • drone501 - Apr 27, 2013 at 8:59 AM

        i think this guy has to go to aaa to try to get his act together. between sanchez, mcdonalds inconsistancy i think garret cole will be up here in june.

  2. steelers88 - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:28 PM

    Sanchez didn’t throw at Craig’s head why would he? Sanchez is a wild pitcher in general. Terrible call by ump! And in the next inning Lynn throws up high on Marte and then later hit him and then two batters later he throws high up on Mucutchen!

    • djpostl - Apr 27, 2013 at 12:00 AM

      You’re just a homer.

      he threw the thing right at his dome, no doubt out of frustration because he is just God-awful.

      To know that all one has to do is watch his reaction after it hit Craig. Not even an ounce of surprise/concern despite nearly taking a dude’s head off.

      He needs to eat a long suspension.

      • Marty - Apr 27, 2013 at 12:15 AM

        50/50 intentional/Sanchez gettin emotional and laying an egg.

      • xavier46 - Apr 27, 2013 at 1:54 AM

        “He needs to eat a long suspension.”

        Meh, you’re just a homer – don’t let Sanchez get you all butthurt.

      • paperlions - Apr 27, 2013 at 10:02 AM

        I don’t think he intentionally threw at him. Yeah, of course he threw it near his head….after all, he was the pitcher and that is where the ball went. But there was no evidence whatsoever of intent. This is just another in a long line of post hoc ergo propter hoc arguments. Sanchez has always had control issues.

    • dirtyharry1971 - Apr 27, 2013 at 3:42 AM

      steelers suck and they aint going anywhere anytime soon!!

  3. coldanthony - Apr 26, 2013 at 9:31 PM

    What a lie. He was pitching inside and hit him in the shoulder. No reason to hit him in that situation. Wake up BR!

  4. westcoastredbird - Apr 26, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    He’s lucky there wasn’t a brawl and Matt Holliday unscrewed his head and sh$t down his neck!!!!!!!

    • beefytrout - Apr 26, 2013 at 10:27 PM

      best fans in baseball!

    • Marty - Apr 27, 2013 at 12:20 AM

      Holliday showed his mettle in game 7 of last years NLCS, getting chanted into embarrassment then popping out to Scutaro to end it. Thanks for trying.

    • drone501 - Apr 27, 2013 at 8:57 AM

      gabby sanchez would have ended hollidays season in a heartbeat.

  5. sisqsage - Apr 26, 2013 at 10:13 PM

    Used to have a great arm. But he’s always had a 10-cent head.

  6. Stiller43 - Apr 26, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    This guy SUCKS. So its hard to exactly where he was throwing…

    Seriously, hopefully liriano can replace him with an ERA under 10.0…

    • albertmn - Apr 27, 2013 at 6:47 PM

      Glad your hopes aren’t too high for Liriano. ERA just under 10 sounds about right for Liriano.

  7. jwbiii - Apr 26, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    How is this less damaging to the game than a player having metabolites of stanozolol in his urine? Why should he be punished less?

  8. fearlessleader - Apr 26, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    I’m a Cardinal loyalist, but I’m not remotely convinced that he was “throwing at Allen Craig’s head.” It hit him in the shoulder, for one thing, and Sanchez is not exactly a control pitcher to begin with. I’m sure he was frustrated and let one fly, but I don’t think he was gunning for anyone’s hide. Timmons’ quick thumb was a surprise to everyone and, I’m sure, a disappointment to the Redbird hitters, who were rather enjoying Sanchez’s performance. :)

    • forsch31 - Apr 27, 2013 at 10:22 AM

      The gif really doesn’t show it well, but if you watch the replay, on the close-up, it’s pretty clear just how close that ball came to Craig’s head. Craig ducked his head and lifted his left shoulder to avoid the ball, and the ball him nameplate-level.

  9. blingslade - Apr 26, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    A little chin music always makes the game a lot more interesting!

  10. eagles512 - Apr 26, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    He’s always been a punk.

  11. calicokiller49 - Apr 27, 2013 at 1:15 AM

    Jonathan Sanchez is bald.

  12. xenith22 - Apr 27, 2013 at 1:44 AM

    I’m a little confused, Sanchez was tossed in the beginning of the 1st inning having thrown only a few pitches. So I guess I am a little puzzled why the move then is to bring in the first bullpen guy rather than bringing in a new starter?

    I mean would moving up someones “start” by a day really be that enormous of a deal? I’m pretty sure that other starters are usually dressed and at games…I’ve seen them on very rare occasions come in (or at least be talked about as options to come in) for emergencies when there are a ton of extra innings and no other options left.

    So I guess I am confused why the move would instead be using more of your pen, and having your pen pitch quite a few more innings than usual which could potentially have a negative effect on your team for quite a few games down the line as they are worn out compared to essentially switching one start for another?

    • forsch31 - Apr 27, 2013 at 2:33 AM

      Starters are on a schedule to pitch–hence “rotation”–with worked out rest days in between, and throwing a guy out there a day early to pitch a whole game without preparation could expose him on short rest. It’s one of the reasons why (a) teams really don’t go to a four man rotation, and (b) most bullpens carry a long reliever/spot starter–somebody who can go a good chunk of innings in case something happens to their starter. I think that’s pretty much Gomez’s job–he’s a former starter who has become a reliever for the Pirates, and in his four previous appearances, he’s gone 3 innings, 1.2, 2.1 and 2.1. He’s the designated band-aid.

      But losing your starter in the first normally doesn’t happen, and the choice becomes screwing with your rotation or screwing with your bullpen. Which is why Clint Hurdle wasn’t all too thrilled with what happened.

  13. girlsknowsportstoo - Apr 27, 2013 at 7:37 AM

    Sanchez is a head case–with a temper. Threw at Chase Utley’s head during the NCLS a few years back and then completely fell apart during the inning. Once a few hitters get to him, he is done.

  14. jm91rs - Apr 27, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    He’s notorious for throwing at people. He cleared the benches last time he hit shin soo choo, and I think he broke Choos hand once. He’s a little dirty

    • paperlions - Apr 27, 2013 at 10:05 AM

      Hitting Choo 4 times in one game would not be evidence of intent. Hell, that can happen to anyone.

  15. haterzinc - Apr 27, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    Can we please cut this guy. We have 3 starters ready to go. Liriano is ready to go. Charlie Morton is touching 97mph and Gerrit Cole..


  16. koufaxmitzvah - Apr 27, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    I don’t know. It’s not like this was a 2-1 ballgame and a 3-2 count.

    • spudchukar - Apr 27, 2013 at 11:34 AM

      The fact that it only hit him in the shoulder shouldn’t matter. Craig crouches quite a bit and he merely spun out of the way and the ball clipped him on the top of his shoulder. It was at least neck high, and dangerous. Was it on purpose, hard to say, and the situation certainly doesn’t help Sanchez’ cause.

      You can generally tell if you are being thrown at. And umps get the same read. I would say probably.

      • forsch31 - Apr 27, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        Whenever I see the word “clipped,” it sounds like the ball nicked him on the way by. Hurdle used it, too, but that’s not what happened. The ball hit Craig square and bounced off of him.

  17. paperlions - Apr 27, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    For some context, since coming into the league in 2006, Sanchez has hit 44 batters, which is tied for 29th among all pitchers since then. He is 13th in walks despite throwing only 784 innings. Among the guys in the top 12, the fewest IP is Ubaldo Jimenez with 1110. His walk rate is the 3rd highest among starters since 2006 (behind only Oliver Perez and Daniel Cabrera). In short, Sanchez doesn’t appear to know where the ball is going very often (at least, within the context of the skills required to be an MLB pitchers)….so if he really does throw at guys as people suggest, then he has been fantastically lucky at not hitting guys accidentally.

  18. dirtydrew - Apr 27, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    As a Giants fan who watched this kid come up, let me sum it up…Million dollar arm, ten cent head.

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