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.
The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.
The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.
Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.
The matchups for Tuesday’s action:
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.
Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.
The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.