Ervin Santana has been a marginal starting pitcher in his seven seasons in the major leagues.
A career 82-63 record and 4.31 ERA would indicate middle-of-the-rotation talent. An average 2011 season (6-8, 3.69 ERA) might indicate stagnation of that talent.
But Santana defied his career and season records to elevate himself into baseball history, pitching the first no-hitter of his career Wednesday against the Cleveland Indians.
Santana allowed one run on an error, a stolen base and a wild pitch and was otherwise untouchable. He struck out a season-high 10 batters.
Read the L.A. Times article here.
Historically, Santana is a far better pitcher at night than he is during the day. Why is this significant? Because Santana pitched his no-no in a game that started around noon, local Cleveland time. This game was in the middle of the day, in the middle of July, and Santana didn’t need the glare of the lights to turn on his potential.
The timing was certainly right. Outside Jered Weaver and Dan Haren, the Angels pitching staff (Santana, Joel Piniero and Tyler Chatwood) have been woefully under .500, collectively, so a performance like this was overdue. It wasn’t quite “Weaver and Haren and the rest of the cupboards are barren,” but it’s close.
Santana’s no-no will send his team on to Detroit (the Angels play the Tigers in a four-game series beginning Thursday) with a sense that this team is better than, perhaps, its best two starting pitchers.
Ervin Santana had been a marginal starting pitcher in his seven years in the big leagues. Now (or for just today, anyway) he’s the best around. And maybe the cupboards aren’t all that barren.