Ervin Santana fell to 1-7 Tuesday night. Won-loss is a lousy metric by which to measure a pitcher, but 1-7 is pretty extreme.
His 5.10 ERA is too.
This is the Twins opening day starter, their putative ace. News flash: He's having a bad season.
This is not unprecedented. Santana has had three 20-plus start seasons with ERAs that begin with 5. In 2007 he went 7-14, 5.76 (26 starts, 150 innings); in 2009 he went 8-8, 5.03 (23 starts, 139.2 innings); in 2012 he went 9-13, 5.16 (30 stats, 178 innings). All three seasons came with the Angels.
And in other years he generally provides 200-plus innings with an ERA under 4. There's no year-to-year consistency in his results. He is either a reliable anchor for the rotation or a problem.
The odd thing to my eyes: His strikeout and walk rates, the "leading indicator" stats I typically find most informative about a pitcher, are consistent in good years and bad. His BB/9 and K/9 rates this season are in line with his career norms.
This is Santana's 12th major league season, and it's shaping up to be Problem Year No. 4. One in three. He signed a four-deal deal with the Twins; you almost have to expect at least one year like this from him in that span.