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The Best of Ervin Santana on Tuesday Night

ANAHEIM, CA - SEPTEMBER 21:  Ervin Santana #54 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim throws a pitch against the Texas Rangers on September 21, 2010 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIISeptember 24, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote that Jered Weaver was very, very quietly having a Cy Young-caliber season.

Well, it just so happens that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have another pitcher who is very, very quietly having a solid season—not a Cy Young-caliber season, but a very solid season.

Angels pitcher Ervin Santana tossed the very rare complete game shutout on Tuesday night against the first place Texas Rangers. Santana gave up just five hits (all singles, by the way), walked just one, and struck out eight over his nine innings of work.

Santana didn’t induce a lot of swings and misses (only eight swings and misses out of 117 pitches thrown), but as you will see from his pitch plot below, Santana kept the ball away from lefties and did a great job of busting the righties in on the plate.

Santana improved to the quietest 17-9 on the season. After an injury-plagued 2008 season in which he only made 23 starts and had an ERA over five, Santana has really had a nice bounce-back season in 2010.

Santana’s stuff isn’t as good as it was in 2008, but he is getting by with one of the best sliders in the American League (12.3 wSL) and an improved BABIP. Hitters have a .291 average on balls in play off Santana, which is in line with what it was back in 2008 (.302). Last year, hitters had a .330 average on balls in play off Santana.

Many may not know it because the Angels have uncharacteristically fallen out of the playoff race, but Santana has quietly had a very good season in 2010.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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