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« Missing: Joel Pineiro's Grounders, Control | Main | In case you haven't noticed: David Ortiz is slumping »
Wednesday
Jul272011

Ervin Santana's No-No

The Angels' Ervin Santana no-hit the Indians on Wednesday afternoon -- but Cleveland still led the game until the fifth frame. A first inning fielding error by Erick Aybar later turned into a run when Santana uncorked a wild pitch with Ezequiel Carrera on third base, but Santana pulled off the no-no and earned the Angels a 3-1 win by allowing just one other base runner the rest of the game. Santana whiffed 10 batters and walked one (Lonnie Chisenhall in the eighth inning), joining Francisco Liriano and Justin Verlander in 2011's no-no club. It was the Angels' first complete-game no-hitter since Mike Witt threw a perfect game against Texas on September 30, 1984.

A fastball/slider pitcher who features just a smattering of changeups, Santana threw 68 heaters, 34 breaking balls and three changes against Cleveland. His velocity was higher than usual, as Santana averaged 93.3 MPH with his heat (92.6 MPH overall in 2011) and 82.7 MPH with his slider (81.9 overall in 2011).

While Santana is typically a fly ball-slanted pitcher, he recorded 12 ground ball outs compared to five fly outs on Wednesday. He challenged Cleveland's lefty-laden lineup (seven swung from the left side) with fastballs on the inner half, and buried his slider at the knees:

Fastball

Frequency of Santana's fastball location vs. Cleveland on July 27, 2011

Slider

Frequency of Santana's slider location vs. Cleveland on July 27, 2011

Santana got five Ks apiece with his fastball and slider, and seven of his whiffs were of the swinging variety:

Pitch location and release velocity of Santana's strikeouts vs. Cleveland on July 27, 2011

According to Baseball-Reference's Play Index Tool, Santana is the first pitcher to throw a nine inning no-hitter while surrendering a run since Houston's Darryl Kile did it versus the Mets on September 8, 1993, at the Astrodome. 

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