BOSTON — It was more of the same behind the plate Sunday from Gary Sanchez:
Some good, meaning his cannon arm, and some not-so-good, meaning he continued to have difficulty blocking balls.
Two wild pitches on strikeouts got past Sanchez on Saturday, but he also threw out Brock Holt trying to steal second in the ninth inning in a 4-3 victory.
On Sunday, Sanchez picked off Rafael Devers at first to end the third, but two more wild pitches got past him, including one in the sixth that contributed to a Boston run.
After Saturday’s game, Joe Girardi gave a pep talk to Sanchez, whom he sat during a recent series in Cleveland because of his defensive issues.
“I think he was frustrated at that [the wild pitches], which I think is a good thing because he understands the value of blocking the ball,” Girardi said. “I told him, ‘You’re playing your rear end off. You’ve blocked a ton of balls the last 10 days. You’ve got to turn the page.’ We learn from it and we move on. And there’s only a handful of people that make that throw [to get Holt].”
Girardi added: “But his play has been really, really good. His catching has improved a lot the last 10 days, so let’s not hang our heads on this. Let’s move on and get better from it.”
Tanaka isn’t distracted
Masahiro Tanaka, slated to come off the DL tomorrow for a start in Detroit, said the opt-out in his contract after this season has not been a distraction.
“Team always has to come first,” he said through his translator. “You’re playing for this team and you want to contribute in the best way that you can. Obviously, it’s been an up- and-down season, but you really have to face that reality.”
Tanaka (8-10, 4.92 ERA) said “I feel pretty close” to regaining the form that made him an ace the previous three years.