Sunday, May 01, 2005

Streak Busters

Johan Santana pitched arguably his best game of the season today, but unfortunately he was out-dueled by the Angels' Bartolo Colon and his 17-game winning streak came to an end as did the Twins' less impressive 5-game streak. Santana allowed only two hits over eight strong innings, but both left the park. Colon, meanwhile, was at his best. The Twins' hitters couldn't touch him. He had great command of his fastball, and he was getting every hitter to either strike out or ground out. Still, the Twins did get a chance to salvage Santana's streak. After allowing just one baserunner over the first seven innings (technically two, but the second reached on a fielder's choice), Colon looked poised to finish the game without the Twins getting a runner past first base. However, with one out in the seventh inning, Jacque Jones his a chopper towards second which Colon hurt his leg in an effort to field. This brought in Scott Shields. With Jones on first, Michael Cuddyer (who continues to flirt with the Mendoza line even after his "breakout game" on Friday) hit a sharp grounder towards second that would have provided a typical Cuddy GIDP to end the inning. However, with Jones stealing second on the 3-2 pitch, second baseman Chone Figgins was on his way to cover second allowing the ball to creep through. Next, Joe Mauer (pinch-hitting for Mike Redmond, who started) walked. With the bases loaded and one out, Matt LeCroy pinch-hit for Luis Rivas. Unfortunately, it was at this point that the Angels went to their dominant closer, Francisco Rodriguez. LeCroy was no match for K-Rod, grounding into an inning-ending double play.

It was a shame to see Santana's great winning streak come to end, but he pitched a great game. It's too bad the offense couldn't pick him up.