You can try to intentionally walk Gary Sanchez but he'll just hit an almost-homer anyway
In Saturday's 5-1 win over the Rays at Yankee Stadium, Sanchez showed that no, you simply cannot choose to intentionally walk him. You can try, but he can still reach out and hit an almost-homer to left-center if he wants to:
This came a few innings after Sanchez successfully hit a regular pitch over the wall for his 13th homer of the campaign as the second half of a back-to-back effort with
If you're wondering where Sanchez stands all-time with the impressive power show he's put on so far in his young career, well ...
The eighth-inning IBB-turned-sac-fly plated the Yankees' fourth run of the night, though it very nearly brought in even more than that.
Seriously, Sanchez looked prepared for that to happen, almost like he was expecting it:
the best part of Gary Sanchez hitting an IBB for a sac fly is that he seemed legitimately prepared for it pic.twitter.com/LIi8OWkfpA— Cespedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) September 10, 2016
Speaking with MLB.com's Sam Blum after the game, Sanchez explained that he was absolutely prepared for such an opportunity:
"I knew they were going to walk me," Sanchez said, "but at the same time I wanted to be ready in case I could swing at the pitch, find something that I could drive. And hopefully score the run from third."
Sanchez added that this scenario played out a few weeks ago during an at-bat in Seattle, but he hadn't been looking for a hittable pitch like that. Obviously, he was prepared on Saturday.
His manager, Joe Girardi, lauded the effort:
"It's a great job by Gary to be ready to hit that. It's not something that pitchers are doing a lot and are always comfortable. I think you have to be prepared because if they throw it over the plate, it's probably going to be one of the softer pitches you see in your career."
As you might expect, this feat was unparalleled so far this season:
Gary Sanchez intentional ball sac fly was the slowest pitch put in play this year... 51.8 MPH.— Daren Willman (@darenw) September 10, 2016
Beyond the takeaway of "good luck pitching to him," there's no doubt now that Sanchez is probably a pretty great threat on the softball field after seeing that A+ approach.