MIAMI – The notion of Aníbal Sánchez wrapping up the season as the Nationals’ most consistently effective starter would’ve sounded ludicrous two months ago, when the notion of Sánchez still being a member of the Nats rotation seemed far-fetched.
Funny how things play out, though, because as the 2022 campaign winds down there’s really no disputing the fact that the Nationals’ best starter has been a 38-year-old right-hander who sat out the entire 2021 season and then missed 3 1/2 months this season with a neck injury.
Sánchez added another impressive chapter to his out-of-nowhere resurgence this afternoon, tossing five scoreless innings and allowing only two hits to the Marlins during a feel-good, 6-1 victory over the franchise for whom he made his major league debut 16 long years ago.
Thanks to the efforts of Sánchez, four relievers, another Joey Meneses home run and three hits from CJ Abrams, the Nationals left town with one win to salvage the weekend. They end their season series against the Marlins with an abysmal 4-15 record, but today’s win at least ensured they didn’t drop a 16th game to one opponent for the first time in club history.
They also avoided reaching the 100-loss mark for the first time since 2009, though it will take a perfect 10-0 finish now against the Braves, Phillies and Mets to prevent that inevitable event from occurring.