And, you know, duh. There’ll certainly be columns and blog posts written suggesting that Johan Santana pitched poorly today because of the news that came out about his since-dismissed sexual assault charges from October. But the truth is, Santana hasn’t been sharp all year.
In fact, Saturday’s start was Santana’s fourth straight with at least four earned runs allowed. He’s only done that once before, back in 2004. And, of course, even when he was succeeding this season he wasn’t striking guys out.
Manuel suggested that opposing teams have become too familiar with Santana’s fastball-changeup pattern, and Santana didn’t disagree. Rod Barajas said, essentially, that maybe the league has finally caught up to Santana.
Both Manuel and Santana said the pitcher plans to mix in his slider more often, and said that doing so in the later innings today helped make his changeup more effective.
Santana said his struggles are “not the end of the world,” and stressed, “at some point, everything will turn around.”
Also, vaguely related fun fact: No one has ever described Johan Santana without using the word “competitor.”