clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Aaron Sanchez had the worst ERA in baseball, but led a no-hitter in his Astros debut

Houston’s other new starting pitcher was dazzling in his first start

Seattle Mariners v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

A major trade deadline acquisition dazzled in his debut with the Houston Astros, pitching the first six innings of a no-hitter to help cement Houston’s claim of having baseball’s best rotation. But it wasn’t Zack Greinke. Tearing up the Seattle Marienrs the was the other starter the Astros acquired at the deadline: Aaron Sanchez.

Sanchez, acquired from the Blue Jays for Derek Fisher, baffled the Mariners on Saturday night, striking out six and retiring 18 of his 21 batters faced. Pulled after 92 pitches, Sanchez saw Will Harris, Joe Biagini, and Chris Devenski finish off the gem, a 9-0 win for Houston and the 12th no-hitter in Astros history.

Sanchez had success early in his career with Toronto, leading the American League in ERA at age 23, but injuries limited him to just 28 total starts over the next two years. This year Sanchez’s health hasn’t been a problem, but his pitching has: His 6.07 ERA entering Friday ranked dead last in the majors among qualified pitchers.

But after pitching poorly for a bad team north of the border, Sanchez gets a fresh start in Houston with the World Series favorites. It’s hard to imagine a better debut than what Sanchez delivered on Saturday.

Keep in mind that Sanchez is the fifth starter on a loaded Astros staff headed by Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Zack Greinke, and Wade Miley. That quartet has four of the top 13 ERAs in baseball, with Miley the highest of the group at 3.05. If a change in scenery brings Sanchez back to something like his best, scoring against Houston will be damn near impossible.

Barring injury, there won’t be a place in Houston’s postseason rotation for Sanchez, but he’s pitched in relief before. He allowed one unearned run in nine relief appearances in the postseason for the 2015 Blue Jays team that advanced to the ALCS. The Astros can find a similar role for him this year.

Saturday was only one start, but if Sanchez has straightened himself, out add him to the growing list of frightening pitchers the Astros can throw at opponents in October.