What if I were to tell that Anibal Sanchez is the best pitcher in the American League? Is that a story that you might be interested in?
Coming into the season, I felt it was an absolute lock that the Detroit Tigers were going to win the American League Central because of their pitching staff. While Justin Verlander is the unquestioned ace on the team, Sanchez was turning into one of baseball’s best pitchers.
But after nearly no-hitting the Minnesota Twins tonight, I’m going to go ahead say that Sanchez is one of baseball’s best pitchers.
Sanchez already had a start earlier in the season that was one for the record books, setting a franchise record with 17 strikeouts. On Friday, Sanchez almost completed his second no-hitter in his career. Joe Mauer decided to spoil the feat by doing what he has done for years, singling up the middle on a curveball.
Although his pitch count was well above 100, manager Jim Leyland let Sanchez finish the game. Sanchez’s final line read as such: 9 IP, 1H, 0ER, 3 BB, 12 K and 130 pitches thrown.
It’s kind of funny that Sanchez almost no-hit the Twins tonight, because I almost pulled all the Twins I have in my fantasy lineup thinking that he could actually do it. This was Sanchez’s fifth start in his career that he has allowed a hit or less in his career, which is rather remarkable when you think about it.
Even though he couldn’t complete the no-hitter, it’s rather obvious that Sanchez was worth every penny that Detroit gave him. Heck, he might even be their ace right now, which is saying a lot.