Hits for Johan Santana

Posted on June 15th, 2007 – 12:25 PM
By La Velle

Last night’s game was thrilling (and quite a re-write chore). One thing that came out during the post-game media grazing was that the club knows it’s doing a lousy job of scoring runs for ace Johan Santana.

“Anytime you go out there as a pitcher and we don’t score runs, I’m sure he was getting frustrated keeping teams to two runs,” Twins catcher Mike Redmond said. “We’re not giving him any support. It goes like that sometimes. If we could control it, we could score six or seven right out of the chute.”

Santana has pitched way better than his 6-6 record. He should be 9-3, but the Twins have scored three or fewer runs in 10 of his 14 starts. TEN!

I’m not totally buying the, `the Twins are facing other teams’ aces,’ argument. Here are the opposing pitchers during the games the Twins have lost with Santana on the mound:

Mike Maroth (twice)

Fausto Carmona (twice)

Scott Kazmir

Chad Gaudin

Levale Speigner
(Johan is 6-6, but the Twins are 7-7 in his starts)

There are good pitchers there, hot pitchers there, but not all are aces. This is turning into 2005 again, where Santana got terrible run support down the stretch, finished 16-7 and watched Bartolo Colon win one of the more undeserving Cy Youngs in recent years.

The best pitcher in baseball looks beatable because the Twins are taking bat naps the days he pitches. Sure, an ace should be able to pull off a 2-1, 3-2 or 2-0 win once in a while. But, again, the Twins have scored three or fewer runs in 71 percent of his games.

“I’d like to see us score some runs and give him a chance to breathe,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “I know he feels like he almost has to be perfect in every outing.” 


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