There’s a villain in one of later (and crappier) seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer who, for some reason, can switch back and forth from male to female. Because this may look odd, the villain has a spell which causes anyone who sees the transformation to instantly forget about it.
Otis, you may be asking, what in the hell are you talking about?
Well, I’m actually talking about Jonathan Sanchez. He seems to switch back and forth between “Good Jonathan” and “Bad Jonathan” as if by magic. And it also seems like everyone forgets that they’ve seen this transformation thousands of times.
Good Jonathan will roll off a three game stretch with 40 strikeouts and one run (probably having given up a homerun to a back up catcher.) Bad Jonathan will hit 100 pitches by the fourth inning with one of his 7 walk disasterpieces. Bad Jonathan will also try to start a double play by throwing the ball to Lou Seal and accidentally end up at the Powell BART station while covering a bunt.
When we get a little bit of Good Jonathan, people start yapping about how he’s turned the corner. He misses bats! He’s hard to square up! We are reminded that he probably has the best pure stuff on the staff.
After a bad Jonathan game, the word “headcase” is thrown around, and we are told that he can’t handle big games. Internet forums start devising illogical trades – either to contending team for players they’ll also need to contend or to rebuilding teams that probably don’t need a not very young, arbitration eligible starter. KNBR starts it’s loud rumble for him to be shipped elsewhere to lose his job to inferior pitchers.
The problem is that both Good Jonathan and Bad Jonathan are both really the same pretty good pitcher. When you see one, the other is sure to show up soon.
See that? He made some minor improvements last year – nothing to get excited about. And he’s gone slightly backwards this year – also nothing to get excited about. That slight uptick in walk % is the most annoying thing on the table, and it amounts to having walked five extra batters over his career average.
Everybody needs to lose their Jonathan Sanchez amnesia. After a good game or after a bad game, he’s still the same bat and strikezone missing, infuriating, yet pretty good goddamn pitcher. Remember that and calm down.