Intentional walk gets Sanchez off to bad start

Intentional walk gets Sanchez off to bad start

Intentional walk gets Sanchez off to bad start
MIAMI -- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny isn't afraid to admit when he's wrong.

After bringing in reliever Eduardo Sanchez in the seventh inning of Monday's 8-7 win, Matheny had the righty immediately intentionally walk Jose Reyes to load the bases, as opposed to letting the previous pitcher, Fernando Salas, deliver the intentional walk before leaving the game.

"You want to set guys up for success, but if you're putting guys in a difficult situation, it decreases their odds of being successful, of getting people out afterward," Matheny said. "It wasn't a good move."

After the intentional walk to Reyes, Sanchez struggled to find the plate, walking the next two batters he faced and giving the Marlins a pair of easy runs before being removed from the game. Of Sanchez's 15 pitches Monday, only three were strikes.

While Matheny acknowledged the decision to bring in Sanchez before the intentional walk was a poor one, he remained confident in the right-handed reliever.

"He's almost unhittable at times when he has it all right," Matheny said. "His breaking stuff is so electric, he's just uncomfortable with his arm slot. He hides the ball well, he's just no fun for a righty. You get into big situations and you got a couple pitchers that are fly-ball pitchers, a fly ball isn't going to help us in that situation."

Sanchez has had issues with command at times this season, walking as many batters (13) as he has struck out in 16 appearances and 14 innings.

"Regardless of his high walk ratio, regardless of the trouble he had around the zone, he's our best strikeout guy," Matheny said. "He's the guy on this staff that has the ability to strike a couple batters out."