It HappensBy: Brendan Bilko
It doesn’t make it easier to watch, and it sure doesn’t give you a start back, however knowing that sometimes shit happens is an important part of baseball. That’s what last night was for Johan Santana, just a little bit of shit. An aberration. No big deal.
This isn’t Johan’s first foray into the world of abnormal starts. In June of last year against the Yankees, he gave up nine earned over three innings on a bunch of fliners and a Hideki Matsui bomb. In July of 2008 he gave up five earned over four innings to the Reds, including back to back homers by Adam Dunn and Edwin Encarnacion. A year earlier for Minnesota he gave up six earned to the Toronto Blue Jays, including four home runs to the opposition.
If it makes you feel better, a thing to note about these poor starts is that they have all taken place on the road in hitter friendly parks (Citizens Bank Park, Yankee Stadium 2.0, Great American Ball Park and The Rogers Centre). However, the sample is just far to small to deduce that from a few bad starts though.
Santana is a fly ball pitcher. If his location is array and he starts giving up long fly balls and fliners, a few are bound to go out of the park. Add in the walks and other base hits, and the game gets away from you. Does it suck that this game happened to be the rubber match with the Phillies? Sure. Does it suck if you owned him in fantasy and he blew up your ERA with the one start? Most definitely. Other than that though it kind of is what it is. One bad start. Just a little bit of shit.