In his last 20 starts, 2004 AL Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana of the Twins is 17-0, three short of the American League record held by Roger Clemens. His most recent victory was 2-1 over the sad-sack Royals last night, a game I witnessed in Kansas City. Jose Lima pitched well for the Royals but got no support. (Strangely enough, Lima also pitched the last game I saw in Kansas City several years ago when he was with the Astros.)
Between the two of them, Santana and Lima struck out 12 but also induced more soft popups than I've ever seen in a game. I think there were two hard-hit balls all night. The game-winning hit was a blooper that got over the 2nd baseman's glove by two inches.
Santana looks like the real deal. I suppose the last time I saw a pitcher dominate like that was when Pedro the Punk was in his prime back in '99.
The Royals though are another matter. The season already seems hopeless and it's still April. I was checking the schedule to see what other games I might be able to make it to this year – the weekend of May 14, the Devil Rays come to town. Plenty of good seats still available, I'm sure. The Rangers and a return visit by the Twins are slightly more promising.
Oh, for the glory days of George Brett and Bye Bye Balboni.