The Royals acquired right-handed starter Ervin Santana from the Angels this offseason for basically nothing. It’s still very early, but that’s looking like one of the best moves of the winter.
Santana went seven scoreless innings on Saturday night against a tough Indians lineup, striking out five batters and issuing no walks. He now boasts a 2.00 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in five starts this season with 31 strikeouts (and only five walks) in 36 innings.
The Royals are now atop the American League Central standings with a 12-8 record and a +15 run differential.
The Tigers are a game back of Kansas City at 12-10 (with a +16 run differential).
Your Saturday box scores:
Braves 4, Tigers 7
Reds 3, Nationals 6
Phillies 9, Mets 4
Blue Jays 4, Yankees 5
Orioles 7, Athletics 3
Rangers 2, Twins 7
Pirates 5, Cardinals 3
Astros 4, Red Sox 8
Rays 10, White Sox 4
Indians 2, Royals 3
Cubs 3, Marlins 2
Rockies 2, Diamondbacks 3 (10 innings)
Giants 7, Padres 8 (12 innings)
Angels 2, Mariners 3
Brewers 6, Dodgers 4
Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.
Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.
Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.
In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”