CHICAGO – Until Johan Santana decided to pitch like Johan Santana on Friday night, this chunk of space was going to try and figure out his problems. Talk with his pitching coach, his manager, his teammates, his opponents, a scout or two and, voila, mystery solved.
Of course, then Santana threw seven strong innings in the Minnesota Twins' 7-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox, giving up his only two runs on a home run by Jim Thome. While the idea of chronicling Santana's struggles dissipated rather quickly, his performances had dovetailed with a theory posed by a friend earlier in the night.
The World Baseball Classic affected starting pitching. Dramatically.
Frankly, it sounded absurd. The pitching in the WBC was, by and large, tremendous. Of the 24 major-league starting pitchers who participated, 16 finished with earned-run averages below 3.50. Most of the pitchers conditioned themselves at least a month earlier than usual to prepare for the rigor of high-stakes games duringRead More »from Classic theory has pitchers in a funk