Wow. I apologize for not having any new posts lately, but I don’t think I could write one at a better time. After a 2-1 squeaker on Friday night and a 5-0 shutout on Saturday, the rubber game’s strings were handed to Johan Santana and he pulled them masterfully. Setting a career-high, and team-high, record with 17 strikeouts in 8 innings pitched, Johan led the team to a 1-0 win. He only gave up 2 hits (both to Sammy Sosa) but didn’t walk anybody. It was without a doubt his best game ever. To make things better, Johan threw 112 pitches and only 4 of them were sliders (thanks to Aaron for that information). 15 of his strikeouts were guys swinging and he struck out everybody in the lineup at least once. He struck out the side in both the second and eighth innings.  It was truly a great game and was incredibly entertaining to watch. Santana faced 26 batters out of a minimum of 24 and had 2 ground outs, 5 fly outs, and the 17 strike outs. An interesting note is that he had no strikeouts in the 6th inning (needing just 8 pitches to retire the 3 batters he faced) and only Randy Johnson has more strikeouts (18) in a non-complete game. I suggest heading over to AaronGleeman.com to check out some more interesting stats surrounding the game.

 

Luckily Santana’s performance is distracting everyone from the Twins’ hitting, totaling just 4 hits yesterday (but luckily one of them was a home run by Michael Cuddyer). In the 3-game series the team was 0-for-19 with runners in scoring position and scored just 3 runs all series. I really hope that this game fired them up, it sure looked like they were pumped up and excited when Santana walked into the dugout after he was done.

 

Jason Kubel has returned from his oblique strain and Jason Bartlett is expected to be able to play within the next 3 or 4 days. Brian Buscher is expected to be activated from the Disabled List when he is eligible this Wednesday.

 

Matt Garza pitches tonight in the first game against Seattle. The scheduled start time is 7:10.

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