As if none of you know already, our favorite Santana just wrapped up a fantastic outing against the actually-sporting-their-real-lineup Cardinals. Despite the fact it’s only Spring Training, a line like this can’t be ignored:
6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 69 pitches
There are two numbers there that stand out here, 0 and 69. That Santana didn’t walk anyone is a huge positive. While we have to assume that his velocity will be down this year, and thus the strikeouts, he will have to rely increasingly on the kind of pinpoint control that produces these kinds of results. Additionally, the 69 pitches show he wasn’t wasting any time. The fewer pitches he throws, the less strain on his arm, and the more effectively he can go at batters. That 48 of his 69 pitches were for strikes only serves to highlight the control that resulted in a 6:0 K:BB ratio today.
The gaudy strikeout totals may not be there this season, nor the complete games, nor the 96 mph fastball. But if Johan can give us efforts like this over about 150 innings this year, the Mets will be getting the more out of him than I think many expected.
Oh, also. Johan struck out Beltran today. Just sayin…