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Game 107 Open Thread -- July 27, 2008

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lohse

santana

12-2, 3.35

8-7, 3.05

Who is this Santana guy? Seriously. It wasn’t that long ago where he was widely regarded as the best starter in the majors, then he’s traded to New York of all places, and has, ostensibly, fallen under the radar. He’s having a good season, to be sure, but it seems to be remarkably un-Santana-like. He has a 3.05 ERA but only a 3.77 FIP. Kyle Lohse’s is better (3.60). And Santana has moved from the "Homer-Dome" to a very pitcher-friendly ballpark. He’s "only" striking out 7.79 batters per nine. His average, coming into this season, for his career was 9.50 K/9. His BB/9, though still good at 2.47 is the highest since 2003. His HR/9 is higher than his career average and his WHIP is the highest it’s been since 2002 – and it’s not like his BABIP is out of line w/ his career norms (.294 vs. .287).

Don’t get me wrong – he’s still a very good pitcher and certainly better than anyone we’ve got in our rotation right now. Maybe he’s feeling a little pressure from the big contract. Another explanation is that he did turn 29 and maybe he’ll continue to be a very good pitcher, but the days of him being an elite starter may be behind him. Who knows?

I’m hoping that last night’s victory and Pujols’ blast last night give the team a little momentum to turn this ship around. The pen has given up a 9th or 10th inning homerun in 5 of the last 6 games. With the trade deadline looming, I’m hoping that all the "Wainwright to closer" stuff is simply posturing to get the price tag for Fuentes, Sherrill, or Street down some.

C’mon Boys! It’d be nice to end this week w/ a series victory and Lohse is pitching as well as anybody!