Think Santana’s slipping? Guess again

Posted on August 20th, 2007 – 4:28 PM
By Joe Christensen

Head to La Velle’s blog for today’s lineups, etc. I just wanted to follow up on the most spectacular pitching performance I’ve ever seen. Was Johan Santana’s 17-K masterpiece his best game ever? Aaron Gleeman showed that it was using a Bill James formula called Game Score and a list from Baseball-Reference.com.

After the game, I asked pitching coach Rick Anderson if this was an answer to those who’ve suggested Johan is slipping.

“I just don’t understand the people who are saying it,” Anderson said. ”I don’t look at numbers, but I looked it up before the game, and his actual numbers are better than they were a year ago, but his won-loss record is not. So, to say he’s slipping – no, not a bit. I think he’s having a solid year.”

I looked it up today, and Anderson is right. Through 26 starts:

2006: Santana was 14-5 with a 3.10 ERA. He had 187 strikeouts and 38 walks in 177 1/3 innings pitched. He allowed 19 home runs.

2007: Santana is 13-9 with a 2.88 ERA. He has 191 strikeouts and 39 walks in 175 innings pitched. He has allowed 24 home runs, matching his career high.

Here’s why the perception might be changing: The Twins were 21-5 in Santa’s first 26 starts last year. This year, they are 15-11.

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