Allow us to be the final ones to bring this nugget into your life: former Philadelphia Phillies prospect Sixto Sánchez made his postseason debut for the Miami Marlins Friday afternoon, meaning he pitched in a playoff game before Aaron Nola.
Sánchez wasn’t perfect Friday, but he pitched five shutout innings, limiting the Chicago Cubs to just four hits while striking out six. Over his final two innings Friday, Sánchez stranded five runners on base. He was aided by an outfield assist from right fielder Matt Joyce in the bottom of the fourth, which kept a run from scoring on a Jason Heyward single. All in all, Sánchez demonstrated pretty incredible poise for someone that has never previously pitched in October:
Sánchez, of course, was once the top prospect in the Phillies organization, but traded along with catcher Jorge Alfaro, minor league lefty Will Stewart and $250,000 in international bonus slot money to the Marlins for J.T. Realmuto in February of 2019. Realmuto was an All-Star in his first season with the Phillies, but now faces an uncertain future with the team as free agency looms. Meanwhile, Sánchez has flashed a Hall of Fame-claiber pitching repertoire, and is just a couple months removed from his 22nd birthday.
After Sánchez departed the game, the Marlins were able to take a 2-0 lead in the seventh inning, thanks to a solo shot by first baseman Garrett Cooper and an RBI single by center fielder Magneuris Sierra. Though the Cubs threatened in the bottom of the ninth inning, Marlins closer Brandon Kintzler was able to keep the Cubs off the board and close out an upset series victory.
2020 marks just the third time that the Marlins have reached the postseason, but they won the World Series in 1997 and 2003. With this series victory, the Marlins franchise, which played its first season in 1993, is now 7-0 in postseason series. They’ll put that perfect record to the test in the NLDS against the three-time defending National League East Champion Atlanta Braves.
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