Monday, August 20, 2007

Johan The Great K's 17!

If there was ANY question as to whom baseball's most dominant pitcher today is, the great Johan Santana of the Minnesota Twins once again gave a performance to reaffirm that he is still "numero uno." Santana completely baffled the Texas Rangers at the Metrodome in Minneapolis yesterday, allowing only two hits and no runs or walks, while striking out SEVENTEEN Ranger batters! Even more amazing is that he did this in only eight innings! In case you're wondering, the major league record for strikeouts in a 9-inning game is 20 - only the ageless wonder, Roger "the Rocket" Clemens (twice) and the injury-plagued Kerry Wood have reached that magic number. Michael Cuddyer provided all of the offense the Twins would need, homering off Rangers starter Kevin Millwood in the second inning. Santana had thrown 112 pitches through eight innings, and rather than risk injury and have him go past his "normal" pitch limit of 115 or so pitches, manager Ron Gardenhire handed the ball over to his closer, Joe Nathan, who promptly struck out two of the three batters he faced to give the Twins a 1-0 win and record his 27th save of the year. For Santana, the win was his 13th of the season. With a 2.88 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP, a .214 batting average against and 191 strikeouts, the two-time Cy Young Award winner is looking to add a third trophy to his collection! Eric Bedard of the Baltimore Orioles though is giving the great Johan a run for his money this year. Bedard leads the American League in both strikeouts (206) and BAA (.210), and ranks third in WHIP (1.08), and fourth in ERA at 2.98. Santana is also one up on Bedard in wins (13 vs 12). The Twins also do have a shot at the playoffs while the Orioles do not, so this will sway some votes in Santana's direction. The race for the AL Cy Young award should definitely be interesting all the way to the finish!


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