On September 6, 2006, Anibal Sanchez moved into history as the author of a 103 pitch no hitter for the Florida Marlins. He took down the D-Backs, whose great pitcher Randy Johnson threw the last no hitter (in the form of a perfect game). In the end, Sanchez was dealing - 4 walks and an error prevented the gem, but in the end, he got the mystique that eluded many other great pitchers who came so close (I think of Pedro Martinez and Harvey Haddix, to name but 2).
What goes around comes around.
With 9 strikeouts last night, Sanchez was dealing, dealing, dealing, but he also had 3 walks and 123 pitches as he went to the showers after allowing one run and one hit (the run came first, but the hit to lead off the 9th by Dexter Fowler... that's the one that hurts. After all, Marlins pitcher AJ Burnett once had a no hitter - even though he let up 9 walks - In that, it's nice to play against the Padres).
One had to wonder if he would even be allowed in for the closing ceremonies of the game and would get a no hitter by committee (such as when 6 Astros pitchers combined to stifle the Yankee offense - that was a beautiful game - I know, I watched the whole thing!).
But this Marlins machine wouldn't have been had it not been for a trade that sent him, Hanley Ramirez, and 2 other guys that went to seed quickly for Josh Beckett (in the words of Katy Perry to Elmo, we know where he stands in the minds of this blogger) and Mike Lowell (who was instrumental in the 2007 World Series, but was an overpriced hanger on last year when the BoSox couldn't send him to Texas. And in the end, that's what he always was save one triumphant fanfare moment in the World Series when sentiment saw the fans begging him to be kept on.
Sure, Hanley Ramirez is full of himself and needs to be put in his place sometimes, but he does have offensive value... and Sanchez... if he can keep it together, he'll be playing his way out of south Florida soon. We all know that they can't afford to keep anyone longer than a few years.