Add Ervin Santana to the list of Angels hoping this slow start is just a bad dream. Santana’s early season woes continued Tuesday night as the Halos lost the series opener to the Rays 5-0. While the right-hander was already off to a poor start, his 7.11 FIP (fielding independent pitching) was third worst for starters coming in to the start, Tuesday’s performance certainly highlighted Santana’s main problem.
If chicks dig the long ball, they’re going to love watching Santana pitch this year. Santana had allowed two home runs in each of his first three starts this season. In an effort to buck the trend, he gave up four to the Rays. Santana didn’t give up cheap shots either. Desmond Jennings, Luke Scott, B.J. Upton and Carlos Pena all hit impressive home runs while Santana only made it through five plus innings.
Santana became the seventh pitcher to allow two or more home runs in his first four starts of a season. He’ll look to pass Matt Maloney (Reds, 2009), Joel Bennett (Phillies, 1999), Randy Johnson (Mariners, 1990), Ed Whitson (Padres, 1987), Don Sutton (Angels, 1986) and Jay Pettibone (Twins, 1983) with his next start. Another few outings like this one and Santana will likely be facing a trip to the disabled list for whiplash.
Santana saw his ERA climb to 7.23 and his record fall to 0-4. His 10 home runs allowed leads all of baseball. In fact, he gave up more home runs in this one start than the Nationals have all season. He might need to work on his pitch selection to keep this season from being an absolute nightmare. Somebody in the Angels front office might also want to resend him the memo about Santana being part of one of the top rotations in baseball. He obviously blocked it the first time and reported it as spam.