FORT MYERS, FLA. - Johan Santana turned 28 Tuesday, and his birthday offered a chance to ponder how much longer he can continue pitching at the top of his game.
The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner is showing no signs of slowing down, as he pitched four scoreless innings against the St. Louis Cardinals in a 5-2 spring training victory for the Twins.
Afterward, reporters asked Santana about his building legacy.
"You want people to remember you, so hopefully that will be the case after I retire," Santana said. "Hopefully 10 to 15 years from now, people will say something positive about my career."
Reminded that the positive sentiment is already out there for a pitcher who has won two Cy Young Awards in the past three years, Santana shrugged.
"I feel like I still have a long ways to go," he said. "Hopefully, you can do better and better."
Santana did need 65 pitches to get through his four innings. He retired the first six batters he faced but allowed two runners to reach in the third inning and again in the fourth. By pitching out of those jams, he lowered his Grapefruit League ERA to 1.00.
Asked to sum up how good Santana has been in recent years, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire tried to put it simply, calling him "the best lefthanded pitcher in the game."
Asked if he would eliminate one word from that statement, calling Santana the best pitcher in the game, Gardenhire said, "Yes, I'd say that."
Joe Christensen firstname.lastname@example.org
|Seattle - LP: F. Hernandez||0||FINAL|
|Cleveland - WP: J. Masterson||6|
|Arizona - LP: W. Miley||1||FINAL|
|Miami - WP: R. Nolasco||2|
|Cincinnati - LP: A. Chapman||2||FINAL|
|Philadelphia - WP: A. Bastardo||3|
|Houston - LP: L. Harrell||0||FINAL|
|Pittsburgh - WP: J. Locke||1|
|Los Angeles - LP: K. Jansen||2||FINAL|
|Atlanta - WP: L. Avilan||5|
|Tampa Bay - WP: M. Moore||3||FINAL|
|Baltimore - LP: C. Tillman||1|
|Boston - WP: J. Lackey||5||FINAL|
|Minnesota - LP: P. Hernandez||1|
|Milwaukee - LP: K. Lohse||2||FINAL|
|St. Louis - WP: J. Gast||4|
|NY Mets - WP: S. Rice||4||FINAL|
|Chicago Cubs - LP: K. Fujikawa||3|
|Chicago WSox - LP: J. Peavy||2||FINAL|
|LA Angels - WP: J. Vargas||6|
|Kansas City - LP: K. Herrera||3||FINAL|
|Oakland - WP: J. Blevins||4|
|Washington - LP: D. Haren||4||FINAL|
|San Diego - WP: A. Cashner||13|
|San Francisco - LP: B. Zito||0||FINAL|
|Colorado - WP: J. Nicasio||5|
|Detroit||3||Top 5th Inning|
|Red Bull New York||1|
|Sporting Kansas City||1||FINAL|
|Real Salt Lake||9:30 PM|