On a day when J.T. Realmuto was unable to play because of a hip injury and Spencer Howard was placed on the injured list with shoulder stiffness, Sixto Sanchez faced his former organization for the first time and dominated the Phillies in a complete-game win.
It was a 2020 doubleheader CG — seven innings, just like Aaron Nola's Friday.
The Phillies, of course, traded Sanchez with Jorge Alfaro to Miami last February for Realmuto, who has been great here but remains unsigned beyond 2020.
Sanchez was brilliant from start to finish Sunday, allowing two hard-hit balls in the 2-1 Marlins win. One was an Alec Bohm double, the other an Andrew Knapp sacrifice fly. That was it.
Sanchez began the day with 100 mph fastballs. He threw one to the backstop against Andrew McCutchen, the first hitter he faced. The next pitch was a high 99 mph heater McCutchen swung through to whiff.
Sanchez was still touching 100 in the seventh inning, when he struck out Bohm with a triple-digit fastball.
"The young man's got four pitches, a lot of velocity and movement," Phillies manager Joe Girardi said. "He's got good stuff."
Through five starts, Sanchez is 3-1 with a 1.69 ERA and 0.90 WHIP.
It was impossible not to think back to that Realmuto-Sanchez trade Sunday. Howard became the Phillies' top pitching prospect after Sanchez was dealt but he hasn't been nearly as effective as a rookie. Sanchez has been good all five times out and has pitched four straight gems. Howard's best outing to date was a 5-inning, 2-run performance against the Nationals. It's unclear if Howard will pitch again in 2020.
The Realmuto trade made sense for the Phillies and they won't be blamed too much if they re-sign him. But they did not want to be in this position, having to outbid numerous suitors in free agency. The expectation that Realmuto would be re-signed colored the analysis of that trade, but it still hasn't happened.
If the Phillies don't bring Realmuto back, that deal could go down as a disaster.