August 19, 2007

Johan Santana Fans 17

Johan Santana just got done pitching eight scoreless innings, but that wasn't the story. He also allowed just two hits, and both came from Sammy Sosa. Still, that wasn't the story. Today, Johan Santana put up a new career high in strikeouts beating his previous high of fourteen, and setting a new one with back-to-back three strikeout innings to give him seventeen.

Johan was taken out after the eighth inning with 112 pitches, but it was simply amazing to watch. Out of the first fifteen outs recorded, eleven of them were strikeouts. Then, in the seventh, with eleven strikeouts in the books, he struck out the side, and tied his career high at fourteen. The eighth inning though, was the best.

Joe Christensen puts it best:

With Neshek back warming, Santana struck out Gerald Laird for his 15th
strikeout, establishing a new career high. The crowd is on its feet, cheering.
He struck out Marlon Byrd setting a new team record. Crowd is still on its

They sat back down and had to get right up. Johan fanned Marlon
Byrd for No. 17. He raised his fist in triumph. Doffed his cap to the crowd as
he walked off. He has 112 pitches. Joe Nathan is warming up quickly. Looks like
Santana is done. He’s given up two hits, both to Sammy Sosa.

It was the best I've every seen Johan, and he definitely had no-hit stuff if Sammy Sosa weren't playing.

I'm a little disappointed that Gardenhire didn't let him at least go out for the ninth inning. He had just 112 pitches, and it would have been nice if they'd let him go up to 120 or 125.

But the way the crowd responded, the way Johan pumped his fist and the all the excitement made it my favorite game of the season.

And, most of all, it made me say these few words: "Sign him immediately Terry."