It's hard to imagine Johan Santana pitching much better than he is right now, but it's likewise tough to fathom the Mets' offense phoning it in during Santana starts any more convincingly than they have to this point. The argument that Santana is usually pitted against the other team's top starters only carries you so far; good hitters should be able to score at least a few runs against even the best pitchers in the league, and eventually this group will hang a four-spot up there, giving Santana enough run support to sweep a three-game series on his own. The SNY crew mentioned towards the end of tonight's telecast that the Mets have scored twelve runs in Santana's six starts, which is just mind-boggling offensive ineptitude. Nevertheless, Santana is 4-1 and has racked up some pretty interesting rate stats so far this season (these are all prior to Wednesday's start unless otherwise indicated).
Santana's swinging strike percentage (SwStr%) on Wednesday against the Phillies.
Santana's SwStr% in his first five starts of 2009. His career high was 14.9% in 2004.
Santana's BABIP in 2009.
Santana's line drive rate (LD%) in 2009. The rule of thumb is to add 12% to a pitcher's line drive rate to arrive at his expected BABIP, which would put Santana's eBABIP a full 100 points higher than his actual BABIP. While the 25% is awfully high, it's not so surprising to discover a gap between expected and actual BABIP here considering Santana's unsustainable sub-1.00 ERA.
Santana's infield fly rate (IF%) in 2009, which is ridiculous. His career high was 12.3% in 2005. Why is IF% important? Simply put, almost every single infield fly turns into an out. I don't have the numbers in front of me but I recall that something like 99% of infield flies are converted into outs. Look no further than the utter incredulity we all felt when Carlos Delgado dropped that popup on Tuesday. Misplayed infield flies are so rare as to induce slackjawed befuddlement when one actually occurs. All of this means that an infield fly is just about as good as a strikeout and is almost a corollary to defense independent pitching.
Percentage of plate appearances that have ended with a strikeout when Santana has pitched this season. His career high was 30.1% in 2004.
Santana's LOB% in 2009, the highest of his career.
Big winners: Johan Santana, +45.3% WPA, Francisco Rodriguez, +16.8% WPA
Big losers: David Wright, -17.0% WPA, Carlos Beltran, -10.8% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Tatis fustercluck in seventh, +19.8% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Ibanez ground-rule double in seventh, -10.7% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +74.5% WPA
Total batter WPA: -24.5% WPA
Nice job by future; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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