November 30, 2007

PASS THE BUCH[HOLZ]:

As dominating as it gets (Jayson Stark, November 30, 2007, ESPN)

Let's start with this:

• Santana has now led the American League in fewest baserunners allowed per nine innings in four straight seasons. So who else, you ask, has done that?

How about nobody?

Lefty Grove led the AL in that category for three straight years, from 1930-32. But that's as close as anyone gets in that league.

In the National League, only two pitchers ever did it four years in a row -- Carl Hubbell (1931-34) and Sandy Koufax (1962-65). And that's the whole list.

Pretty good group. Over the last 70 years, it's Santana and Koufax. Period.

• But over those same four seasons, Santana has also finished either first or second in the league in strikeouts. (And it could easily be four first-place finishes in a row, if rain hadn't forced him to exit early in his final start this year.)

And that's where Santana separates himself from Koufax and Hubbell.

Koufax slipped to fourth in strikeouts in 1964. Hubbell tumbled to sixth in whiffs in 1934.

So Santana is the only pitcher in history to run off a four-year stretch combining that kind of strikeout domination while allowing so few baserunners to run around.


Posted by Orrin Judd at November 30, 2007 4:50 PM
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