Considering where he was in 2016-17, when he posted a combined 6.09 ERA and a 5.17 FIP in 63 games (43 starts) and 258 2⁄3 innings pitched for the Detroit Tigers, Aníbal Sánchez’s return to the World Series in 2019, for the first time since 2012, was the end of a fairly long, improbable journey.
“Those years [weren’t] easy for me. Wasn’t a great moment,” Sánchez acknowledged, when he spoke with reporters in advance of his start in Game 3 of the Fall Classic with Houston’s Astros.
“Something that, I don’t want to say I don’t want to remember. Of course, I worked hard those years, too,” the veteran starter said.
“But you know what, the result wasn’t there. And for me, I [was] just taking one more year last year, 2018. And they give me the opportunity to be here right now.
“For me, my [thought that] offseason ‘17 and ‘18 was, I don’t want to quit if I don’t try my best.
“So I remember I signed with the Twins and I got released, and after that I said, ‘Okay, whatever happens is going to happen, I’m not going to force anything.’
“I got an opportunity with the Braves and showed that I can still pitch on this level, and now I’m…