Know Thine Enemy: Amazin' Avenue
#57 / Pitcher / New York Mets
Mar 13, 1979
|2010 - Johan Santana||5-4||15||15||0||0||0||0||98.0||89||37||36||8||31||62||3.31||1.22|
Remember this guy? Remember how insanely good for us he was? Remember the pre-pitch ass wiggle and the non-chalant way he'd follow through towards third base without even looking at the batter because, he knew, the batter was going to strike out? Good times.
The problem is that, this month, when he typically heats up, he hasn't pitched all that well. 12 earned runs (all in the last three of his four June starts) in 26.2 innings (that's all four), with just eight strikeouts and 12 walks. Does something not make sense for you? It doesn't for me. I've read reports this morning that say he's not over his elbow surgery...which is pretty terrible, if true.
Where is he letting down? It's a number of things, but in the space of just a few words I can say this: his fastball is averaging right around 90mph this year (if not a bit less), the slider hasn't really been a plus pitch in terms of runs above average in years, and the changeup just isn't as effective as it used to be. It's still a pretty damn good pitch, but he's getting a great deal fewer swings and misses. Combine that with a lower chase percentage and a higher contact percentage, and it's no wonder why we're not seeing the same Johan we grew to know and love. Two things he has done really well tough: suppress home runs and get through six-and-a-half innings per start.
You have to imagine he has some extra motivation today, in spite of all the good memories he had in a Twins uniform. It's good to see you again, Johan. But I hope we knock you out early.
#48 / Pitcher / Minnesota Twins
Jan 08, 1976
|2010 - Carl Pavano||8-6||14||14||2||0||0||0||96.1||90||40||39||11||14||55||3.64||1.08|
Pavstache: bring the flower power, my friend. This team needs a win. BELIEVE IN THE 'STACHE!
Lineups after the jump...