SAN FRANCISCO -- No loss in the National League Championship Series last October was more frustrating than Game 6, and not just because it ended the season. What's remembered is Juan Uribe's opposite-field home run and Ryan Howard taking a called strike three to end it.
But the benches cleared in the third inning and one of the men responsible was Jonathan Sanchez. Sanchez started that game and pitched only two innings, but the Phillies failed to capitalize on a bounty of chances handed to them by the shaky pitcher. He's back on the mound Friday to face the Phillies for the first time since then.
In that game, Sanchez plunked Chase Utley and Utley tossed the ball back to Sanchez, which the pitcher didn't exactly appreciate. The two exchanged words and then the benches emptied. Utley and Sanchez have a history, of course. In 2009, Sanchez buzzed Utley with a tight pitch. Utley then homered off him.
It's no surprise that given the choice to sit against either Madison Bumgarner or Sanchez, Utley chose the first.