Skip to main content

Portrait Of The Artist As a Young Man II

"When they put his numbers on the scoreboard (8.16 ERA, 21 walks in 28 innings), I figured we were off to the races..."

"When I saw him come out of the bullpen that early, to be honest, I thought, `We're in trouble."

Those were the words of Astros manager Larry Dierker and Twins outfielder Matt Lawton to newspaper reporters from the likes of the Houston Chronicle, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, after their respective teams played a game against each other June 6, 2000.

But this wasn't just any game. It was the first major league win for Johan Santana.

Yes, those were Santana's numbers when he entered in the third inning in relief of Eric Milton, who was pulled from a scoreless game after being hit with a line drive. And that was Santana whom Lawton was referring to with those comments.

Santana had pitched in nine major league games to that point, none of which his team, the Twins, had won. Used most recently in games which the Twins lost, 14-0, 13-4, and 9-3, Santana was an afterthought for most.

But Santana had some special motivation for pitching well in Houston. Santana had pitched in Class-A ball the season before and the Astros left the then-20-year-old unprotected in the Rule V Draft. The Twins made an arrangement with the Marlins, who drafted Santana, than swapped him to the Minnesota, which had seen something that it liked. Or at least something it liked more than Houston did.

There may have been some jitters at first and that led to Santana allowing a run in his first inning of work. Those subsided when Santana retired Moises Alou to prevent any further damage.

Santana rewarded the Twins willingness to put him into a close game by pitching shutout ball over the next four innings against a lineup that featured, besides Alou, Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell. Alou turned out to be the first of seven straight hitters that Santana retired.

The Twins rewarded Santana by scoring three runs in the eighth inning to put him on the right end of the decision. The RBI came from Cristian Guzman, Lawton, and another player looking to establish himself in a positive way- David Ortiz.

The Astros would bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth inning and give Santana a slight cause for angst in pursuit of his inaugural victory. Twins closer Eddie Guardado ended matters by striking out Matt Mieske and a young rookie named Lance Berkman on three pitches each to end the game.

"I was so sad, when (the Astros) let me go," Santana said. "I said then I would prove myself to them. I cannot feel any better than this."

True Mettanas know...To read my other "Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man" piece, go to this link:


Popular posts from this blog

Walk-Offs in Movies, TV, and Other Places

Note: I'm leaving this post up through the end of the week, a) because I don't have time to pump out something new and b)because I was hoping to build a really good list of entertainment industry if you're looking for something new, check back on Monday or so... Of course, if there's a major trade or move, I'll adjust and try to post something... In the meantime, click on the "Table of Contents" link as well. It has been updated. SPOILER ALERT: Read at your own risk Caught the ending of "A League of Their Own" on one of the movie channels the other day and it got me to thinking that it would be fun to compile a list of walk-offs from movies, television, and other forms of entertainment. Here's the start, and only the start, as I spent about 30 minutes or so thinking it over Help me fill in the blanks by filling out the comments section. "A League of Their Own"-- Racine beats Rockford for the All-American Girls Profess

Best Games I Know: Phillies (Updated)

  The best wins against the Phillies in Mets history …   May 5, 2022 – Mets 8, Phillies 7 The Mets score 7 runs in the 9 th inning to overcome a 7-1 deficit and win in Philadelphia.   April 29, 2022 – Mets 3, Phillies 0 Tylor Megill and 4 Mets relievers combine on the second no-hitter in franchise history.   September 22, 2016 – Mets 9, Phillies 8 (11) The Mets tie it in the 9 th on a Jose Reyes home run and win it in the 11 th on a 3-run home run by Asdrubal Cabrera.   July 17, 2016 - Mets 5, Phillies 0 Jacob deGrom pitches a one-hitter. Only hit is a single by Zach Eflin in the 5 th inning.   August 24, 2015 – Mets 16, Phillies 7 David Wright homers in his first at-bat in more than 4 months. The Mets hit a team-record 8 home runs.   July 5, 2012 – Mets 6, Phillies 5 The Mets score 2 runs with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9 th to beat Jonathan Papelbon. The winning run scores on David Wright’s bloop down the right field line.   August 13

The best Mets ejections I know

When you think of the Mets and famous ejections, I'm guessing you first think of the famous Bobby Valentine mustache game, when after Valentine got tossed, he returned to the dugout in disguise. You know it. You love it. I remember being amused when I asked Bobby V about it while we were working on Baseball Tonight, how he simply said "It worked. We won the game." (true) But the Bobby V mustache game of June 9, 1999 is one of many, many memorable Mets ejection stories. And now thanks to Retrosheet and the magic of , we have a convenient means for being able to share them. Ever since Retrosheet's David Smith recently announced that the Retrosheet ejection database was posted online , I've been a kid in a candy store. I've organized the data and done some lookups of media coverage around the games that interested me post. Those newspaper accounts fill in a lot of blanks. Without further ado (and with more work to do), here are some of my findings