Then, Santana, (who we briefly disparaged here) went out and pitched on short rest after notching his career-high pitch count in his previous start. He threw back-to-back complete games, last night's a shutout. When the Mets needed him with their season on the line, he showed his mettle and (temporarily) saved their season.
Then today, CC Sabathia one-upped him, leaving nothing temporary about his performance.
Sabathia went to the mound for the third consecutive time on three days' rest and threw his MLB-leading 9th complete game, this one also a shutout. The Brew Crew went to the playoffs at the expense of the Mets.
These two just put the exclamation point on our argument from Friday, showing what it really means for a pitcher to go the full nine. Props to Johan, who as we pointed out, could stand to record 27 outs a little more frequently. Dropped jaws to CC, who finished his NL season 10-2 with a 1.65 era and four shutouts.
Here is a measure of awe from their teammates and coaches:
"That was probably the best pitching performance that I've ever been a part of." - David Wright
"To me, if you want my own opinion, it’s the best I’ve seen, given the situation.” - Pedro
"That was serious 'gangsta' right there!" - Jerry Manuel
"CC has the heart of a lion," - Robin Yount.
"That was one of the greatest performances of all time," - Dale Sveum
“The short rest thing is what’s unbelievable. There’s no words for that. It’s a new category for him now. He’s got his own category. It’s not even clutch. It’s just being that dude.” - Prince Fielder