It hasn’t been a tragedy or anything, but one of the more, well, troubling things these past couple of years has been seeing Johan Santana transform from “otherworldly” to merely good. It’s premature to say he won’t win another Cy Young at some point or something, but he simply hasn’t been the same pitcher he used to be since coming to New York. In light of this, last night was a satisfying blast from the past, as Santana dominated the Reds.
Santana threw a three-hit shutout in the 3-0 win, striking out five. He wasn’t invincible — he walked three guys — but the Reds really never had a chance against him. He also hit a homer. Pfun Pfact, courtesy of Twitter friend @tweetthemets: Santana is the first pitcher to hit a homer and pitch a shoutout in
same game was Mike Hampton did it for the Braves back in 2005. Calm down. I just said it was pfun, not that it was predictive of future success.
Anyway, it was a nice night for Santana and a nice night for the rest of us for getting to see him return to form.
Cubs infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with back soreness. The move is retroactive to April 14. While it doesn’t appear to be the precursor to any serious injury, Zobrist has already missed six straight days of activity after feeling his back tighten up last weekend. Should he see the minimum time on the DL, as expected, he’ll be eligible to return by the start of the Cubs’ series against the Indians on Tuesday.
Prior to his injury, the 36-year-old outfielder raked an impressive .326/.408/.465 with three extra-base hits in 49 plate appearances. He last appeared for the Cubs during their homestand last weekend and helped propel the team to a 14-10 win over the Braves with three hits, two walks and two RBI. Provided that he can remain healthy going forward, it’s a promising start for the veteran outfielder, who has yet to return to the All-Star-worthy numbers he posted with the club in 2016.
With Zobrist sidelined for the time being, Ian Happ and Albert Almora Jr. have shared the leadoff spot and center field duties over the last week. Happ went 0-for-8 with six strikeouts in two games before passing the baton to Almora, who collected five hits and two RBI in 11 at-bats.