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Johan Santana Top Ten

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Though the deal isn't officially complete, it appears the Mets are on the verge of acquiring perhaps baseball's most dominant pitcher in Johan Santana.

The Mets have been given a 72-hour window to sign Santana to an extension and given the relatively low price they paid for him, it seems almost inevitable Santana will be pitching many of his games at Shea Stadium in 2008 and beyond.

In some respect, it must be a sad day for Twins fans because Santana's numbers with their team speak for themselves:  A 93-44 record, 1308.2 innings pitched, 1381 strikeouts, 141 ERA+ along with two Cy Young Awards and three All-Star game appearances.  Not too shabby.

With all of that said, let's reminisce on just how dominant Santana has been over his career looking at the top ten games he's pitched according to game score:

Date:  September 3rd, 2005

Opponent:  Cleveland Indians

Game Score:  84

Box Score

Santana outdueled Cy Young candidate Kevin Millwood pitching 8 innings, giving up one run on two hits and no walks.  He struck out ten Cleveland hitters including Jhonny Peralta four times.   The Twins went on to win the game 3-2.

Date:  August 15th, 2006

Opponent:  Cleveland Indians

Game Score:  84

Box Score

In another good pitchers duel, Santana this time defeated Jake Westbook pitching 8 innings, giving up no runs on three hits and one walk.  He struck on nine hitters including Peralta and Kelly Shoppach three times each.  Minnesota would win 4-1.

Date:  September 3rd, 2004

Opponent:  Kansas City Royals

Game Score:  84

Box Score

Santana has always pitched well against Kansas City going 12-3 in his career against the Royals and this was one of his better starts.  Santana was flat out nasty pitching 7 innings, giving up no runs on one hit and one walk.  Every hitter in the Royals lineup struck out once with Santana compiling a total of 11 punchouts.  The Twins would win 2-0.

Date:  September 17th, 2005

Opponent:  Chicago White Sox

Game Score:  85

Box Score

This is why I, as a White Sox fan, won't be complaining that Santana won't be pitching in the American League Central next season.  In one of his many dominating starts against the ChiSox, Santana pitched 8 innings, giving up no runs on four hits and two walks.  He struck out 13 hitters including Jermaine Dye four times.  The Twins went on to win 5-0.

Date:  June 28th, 2002

Opponent:  Toronto Blue Jays

Game Score:  88

Box Score

This one was Santana's first real dominant big league start.  Just 23-years-old at the time, Santana pitched 8 strong innings against the Jays, giving up no runs on two hits and three walks.  He struck out 13 hitters including Jose Cruz Jr. and Vernon Wells each three times.  The Twins would win the game 4-0.

Date:  June 8th, 2005

Opponent:  Arizona Diamondbacks

Game Score:  88

Box Score

Quite possibly Santana finest interleague performance was a blowout.  He would pitch a complete game, giving up no runs on four hits and no walks.  He struck out nine Diamondback hitters including Royce Clayton three times.  The Twins would win easily 10-0.

Date:  August 12th, 2005

Opponent:  Oakland Athletics

Game Score:  89

Box Score

In yet another pitcher's duel, Santana would this time outpitch Dan Haren.  Each starter went nine innings, but Santana was just a hair better giving up no runs on three hits and one walk.  He would strike out nine hitters as the Twins went on to win a nail-biter 1-0.

Date:  September 5th, 2006

Opponent:  Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Game Score:  89

Box Score

In his 17th win of the season, Santana would pitch 8 innings against Tampa giving up no runs on two hits and one walk.  He struck out 12 hitters and the Twins went on to win 8-0.

Date:  July 6th, 2004

Opponent:  Kansas City Royals

Game Score:  92

Box Score

In arguably the second best start if his career, Santana dominated the Royals once again pitching a complete game, giving up no runs on three hits and two walks.  He struck out 13 hitters including Ken Harvey three times.  The Twins would win 4-0.

Date:  August 19th, 2007

Opponent:  Texas Rangers

Game Score:  95

Box Score

In one of his final home starts in a Twins uniform, Santana was simply was simply brilliant against the Texas Rangers.  Throwing 83 of his 112 pitches for strikes, Santana pitched 8 innings giving up no runs on two hits and no walks.  He struck out a career high 17 hitters as the Twins won 1-0.

If Johan Santana's days in Minnesota are indeed over, there isn't much question he put together a very memorable run, certainly one of the best we've seen in a while.