ARLINGTON, Texas -- Pitching, like real estate, puts a premium on location.
In the case of Jonathan Sanchez, it wasn’t the location of his pitches that hurt him the most. It was the location of Game 3.
The Rangers’ No. 9 hitter isn’t an easy out when they play at home under American League rules. When Sanchez walked Bengie Molina with two outs in the second, a weak-hitting pitcher didn’t come to the plate. It was rookie first baseman Mitch Moreland, who is hitting .341 this postseason.
Moreland responded with a phenomenal at-bat, hitting a three-run homer after fouling off four straight good pitches with a 2-2 count.
“That’s the American League, and their guy got a big hit,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “Sanchez was a pitch away from a pretty good outing there, but he was getting out of that jam and just made a mistake. … That’s what you deal with with a DH.”
That was Moreland's first homer of the postseason, but it was a pretty typical at-bat for him, which is why right-handed-hitting Jorge Cantu is a highly-paid spectator.
"He's just a battler," Ron Washington said of Moreland. "He goes up there and uses every bit of talent that he has. He fights, and when he gets his pitch, he usually don't miss it."
That's not the case with No. 9 hitters in the National League.