Saturday, June 9, 2012

Like Night And Day For Johan Santana

Two Fridays ago, the Rangers were eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs and I passed a kidney stone the size of Mr. Met's head.  That was a bad night.

Last Friday, Johan Santana pitched the first no-hitter in team history.  The only things coming out of my body that night were tears of joy.  That was a good night.

Last night, Johan Santana took the mound at Yankee Stadium for the first game of the Subway Series.  He allowed six runs on seven hits, four of which left the park, including back-to-back-to-back shots by Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher and Andruw Jones.  At the time of their missile launches, both Swisher and Jones were hitting under .250 for the season.  Needless to say, that was a very bad night.  (Although I'm proud to say that nothing left my body other than a few mumbled words directed at certain pinstriped players.)

It is high, it is far, it is ... ah, shut up, John Sterling!  We get it!

With the loss, Santana dropped to 3-3 on the year.  But what's more troubling is that this is not his first poor performance at the new Yankee Stadium.  In fact, after last night's debacle, Santana is now 0-3 with a 12.21 ERA and 2.00 WHIP in three career starts at the House That Juice Built.  Santana has pitched 14 innings at the new digs, allowing 19 runs on 24 hits.  Six of the 24 hits have allowed Yankee hitters to practice their 120-yard trots around the bases.

Santana's performances at the new Yankee Stadium have been quite the contrast from how he fared at the old Yankee Stadium.  At that hallowed yard, he was 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in five appearances (four starts).  Despite the fact that he pitched more than twice as many innings at the older park (30⅔ innings compared to 14 innings at the new park), Santana allowed two fewer home runs there.

Clearly, Johan Santana and the new Yankee Stadium do not agree with each other.  How can a pitcher go from no-hitting the best offensive team in the National League to being yes-hitted by the Yankees over and over and over again in his five innings of work?  No one has a clue why Santana channels his inner Oliver Perez every time he steps on the mound at the new Yankee Stadium.

One thing's for sure.  Just like the differences between my last few Fridays have been like night and day, so are Johan Santana's performances between the old Yankee Stadium and the new pinball model.  Santana's next start will be at Tropicana Field in Tampa on Thursday.  Let's hope he can pinball his way back to the Johan Santana we expect to see and not the one who almost got whiplash from craning his neck so many times to see the balls fly out of Yankee Stadium.

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