Mexicali Aguilas reliever Jake Sánchez made history Tuesday night in the Mexican Pacific League, becoming the first closer of all time to reach 20 saves in two different seasons.
Sánchez, who weeks ago became the first pitcher to add 12 saves in 12 consecutive relays in LMP history, got all three outs in the ninth inning in the Aguilas 4-3 victory over the Venados de Mazatlán in the stadium of the cachanillas in Mexicali.
The right-hander required 14 pitches to retire in order the three batters he faced, striking out two of them, to incidentally keep the team in the lead in the second round of the regular role tied with Naranjeros de Hermosillo.
Sánchez is perfect 20-20 in saves with a salvage chance and became just the second pitcher in history to reach 20, to place one of the record of 21 that Jason Urquidez set with Naranjeros de Hermosillo in 2013-2014 with twenty-one.
The one born in Brawley, California, saved 21 games in the 2016-2017 season – a personal record and for the Mexicali team – in which he only failed once, after having 17 saves in the same number of opportunities.
Sánchez needs three saves to match the Mex-Pac record, set by Mark Zappelli of the Yaquis de Ciudad Obregón with 23 in the 1990-1991 season and equaled by Andrés Ávila with Cañeros de Los Mochis in 2015-2016.
In addition to Zappelli (23), Ávila (23), Urquidez (22) and Sánchez (21, 20), only five other pitchers have achieved at least 20 in a season, Steven Henley (22, 2015-2016 Venados), Casey Coleman (22, 2018-2019, Tomateros de Culiacán), Bryan Corey (21, 2003-2004 Venados), José Silva (21, 2007-2008, Tomateros) and Marc Kroon (20, 2004-2005, Tomateros).
Sánchez reached 66 saves in his LMP career and is eighth on the historical list, one from seventh place held by Silva (67), three from sixth place Luis Ignacio Ayala (69) and 4 from fifth place Antonio Pulido ( 70).
In the history of the Eagles he is already the second best of all time, only below the leader Isidro Márquez who added 124 with the team. Sánchez started the campaign with 46 saves and left behind David Cortés with 60 and Antonio Villarreal with 54.