Johan Santana looked nothing like an ALl-Star caliber pitcher. In fact, he looked pretty terrible. His ERA has bloated to 3.98, he's a mere 7-5, and he is walking too many, giving up too many hits, and striking out too few. This does not sound like the guy who dominated the league last year. No, something has to be wrong. Maybe he is tipping his pitches, but it would be far better to get rid of any adjustments and let Johan pitch the way he has before. I just can't understand why Rick Anderson or the Twins would want to adjust a strategy and pitching style that has been so successful. Don't they know that even if most hitters know the change-up is coming, it still tends to be very successful. Its like telling Randy Johnson or Roger Clemens to make some adjustments because they are tipping pitches. Let me tell you, even if hitters know Clemens is throwing his splitter, there is nothing they can do. They've known for years what he is doing, and yet, look at the results. Johan doesn't need to make any adjustments because it doesn't matter if hitters may know whats coming because his stuff is that good. Looking at his line today, its just ugly: 6 and 1/3 innings, 6 runs, 9 hits, 3 walks, and 3 Ks. Something has to be done, because he's not just mortal, but he's been disguisting as of late. The worst of it is that the Twins offense was certainly alive today, scoring six runs.
* Mike Redmond broke out in a big fashion today, going 4 for 4 with a run scored and 3 RBIs. Redmond, who is the Twins only backup catcher, wasn't hitting very well until late, when he has gotten extra starts against lefties and in day games. He now has his average up to .271, much closer to his career average. That offense shows that Redmond was indeed a good improvement over Henry Blanco.
* Torii Hunter continued to bat well, going 2 for 5 in his start today. In his last seven games, Hunter is hitting .350. However, he hasn't had any home runs in that time and his power still seems to be just as streaky as his overall hitting, though a .278 average is nothing to complain about.
* Lew Ford went 2 for 3 with two runs scored and Luis Rodriguez went 1 for 3 with 2 RBIs. Ford, who seems to be in a different state this year, has been pretty inconsistent. The Twins need a lot more from him in the 5th or 6th spot; that is, more then singles. He needs to drive in runs against and show some of the power we saw last year.
* Bottom Line: Johan Santana needs to forget any adjustments he made and get back to his form. He has not looked like an All-Star at all, getting easily beaten and looking like a lackluster 5th starter. The result is that the Twins lost another game they should have won and they simply have no room for such mistakes. The Twins start a four game series at Kansas City tommorow and hopefully that will provide some needed relief and an easy sweep for the Twins.
In other news:
* Roy Oswalt was choosen to be the final man on the NL roster, as I had hoped and predicted. However, the AL was not as fair of a choice. Over Derek Jeter and our Torii Hunter, both good legitimate All-Star choices, the fans choose White Sox Scott Podsednik. What a terrible choice. This guy does only one thing: he steals bases. Sure, he does a good job, but defensively, he is not even close to Hunter. He has no home runs this year and only 17 RBIs. I just don't see the argument for this guy over someone deserving like Hunter, who is far more valuable to his team, or Jeter, the Yankee captain.