Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 27, 2008
BASEBALL: There Is Only One Johan Santana

I was out at Shea today, undoubtedly for the last time (even if they make the playoffs, I'm not going to be able to score tickets and the free time to go), and witnessed what was probably the second-best clutch, must-win pitching performance in Mets history, behind only Al Leiter's 1-hitter in the 1-game playoff in 1999. Santana was just amazing, not messing around but going right after hitters and thus keeping his pitch count low enough to go the distance on three days' rest to pull the Mets back into a tie. And unlike John Maine, who pitched an even more dominating game in precisely the same situation last season, Santana had only two runs to work with, and thus was facing the tying run at the plate all the way to his last pitch.

Amazingly, Santana now finishes with the best ERA of his career, albeit not the most impressive of his seasons given the switch to a lower-scoring league and park. He's clearly been the second-best pitcher in the NL this season, behind only Lincecum. Nobody can say Santana hasn't earned every dollar of his massive salary this year.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 10:21 PM | Baseball 2008 | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Why is it every time I think they've turned a corner, I get crushed? I feel a win today, but I should know better. Let's hope Ollie is more like Johan than Tommy G and they jump out to a big lead early.

Can we at least throw out this ridiculous notion that Sabathia deserves the Cy Young? Johan is 9-0 from approximately the date of CC's trade to Milwaukee, and the Mets have improved more than the Brewers since that date. What he has done his last 2 starts is incredible. Webb deserves it, but the BP took away Johan's chance to even debate it.

Posted by: DS at September 28, 2008 8:13 AM

An amazing performance. Just amazing.

Lincecum has more Ks (and a worse defense behind him) but Santana has more innings and as good as Shea is for pitchers, I'm not sure it's as good as AT&T.

If either of them wins the Cy, I'm fine. But if it's Lidge or Webb . . . we got problems.

Posted by: Mike at September 28, 2008 9:54 AM

As a Minnesota Twins fan, I am happy for the Mets and especially Johan Santana. I was extremely worried that Johan would end up on the Yankees or the Red Sox, but thankfully he went to the likable Mets. He is now the only ex-Minnesota star that I can cheer for considering all of the rest appear to be in Boston these days.

Anyways, good luck to Santana and the Mets in the upcoming days. Hopefully you guys get into the playoffs.

Posted by: Jason at September 28, 2008 11:23 AM

Santana has been flat out ballsy lately and that was outrageous last night. To me he is the NL Cy Young winner given what he has done in the last month or so. Brandon Webb has the wins but does it by beating on creampuffs. Santana earns it pitching extremely well against good teams and when it counts. Now you have to rely on a lefty you don't really trust to win you one game. Y'all must be more than familiar with this scenario

Posted by: jim at September 28, 2008 12:52 PM

Well, after what CC did today, he may deserve another look. That was just flat out b@llsy.

Thanks Mets. You just closed out my childhood home with another egg laying. I am old enough (41) to understand you don't do these things on purpose just to annoy me, but it works just the same. Like last year (and 05, and 01, and 98, etc...), I will move on and hope for the best next year. Mazel tove in your shiny new home. I'm sure you'll make alot of money. (bitter? Me? Nah...:))

Posted by: DS at September 28, 2008 5:53 PM

I would give the Cy Young to Sabathia. Sorry, but pitching for the awful Giants with no pressure just doesn't compare.

Posted by: A.S. at September 28, 2008 7:42 PM

Lincecum is the best by any support neutral metric. Sabathia with his clutchiness and 250 innings is a close second. Johan and Webb after that. Lidge isnt part of the discussion. Really nobody but Lincecum should be.

Posted by: seth soothsayer at September 28, 2008 7:59 PM

I would give it to Lincecum. What he did was just as difficult as Carlton with the Phillies. Yes, pitching under pressure is difficult, but pitching your heart out when you get nothing all year isn't easy either.

Posted by: Daryl Rosenblatt at September 28, 2008 8:31 PM

I think you have to go with Webb over Lincecum. Webb pitches his home games in a hitters park. Lincecum in an extreme pitchers park. Also, Webb's team was in the playoff hunt.

In the AL, I think I would go with Halladay- because of the division he pitches in and the CGs.

If it was just a Cy Young for the entire MLB than Sabathia,but he gets screwed by changing leagues.

BTW Crank how did you do at Roto this year?

Posted by: dch at September 28, 2008 10:22 PM

Webb is a poser. His record and ERA against crappy teams are the best in MLB. When he pitches against ANY team with any semblance of offensive competence he his below average. If he had pitched the schedule of teams Santana pitched this year he'd be 13-13 at best. Against the Pirates, Padres, Nationals, Reds, Rockies and Giants he was 15-1. He was 7-6 against everyone else. Um, that's less than impressive both in terms of the number of innings he gets to pitch against crappy teams and his record against decent ones. He can't carry Santana's jock.

Posted by: jim at September 30, 2008 3:27 PM
Site Meter 250wde_2004WeblogAwards_BestSports.jpg