When Ervin Santana made his major league debut, the lanky right hander was a highly touted prospect starting a day game in Cleveland in place of an injured Kelvim Escobar. The first four batters he faced HIT FOR THE CYCLE. And yet he remained in the game. He gave up 6 runs in 4 innings pitched that day and garnered the loss.
So his next start, at home, at night, he throws a complete game 5 hit shutout of the White Sox, striking out 7. His start after that he gives up 1 run in 6 and a third, only to see the bullpen blow it in the infamous Donnelly "Pine Tar" game.
And so it goes... one disaster, one masterpiece. Home night wins, day road losses, an eerie consistency with manager Mike Scioscia dismissing the voodoo of the dark greatness, the black magic, as a small sample size. Then each season started to see that happen - good year, bad year...
Ervin finished 2005 by relieving Bartolo Colon in the deciding game of the ALDS. Colon had torn a muscle and the rookie pitched 5 and a third innings allowing 3 runs to keep the Angels in what would be only their fourth ever postseason series win.
In 2008, Ervin finished 6th in the Cy Young voting. His K/BB ratio of 4.55 was best in single season franchise history. In 706 IP he ranks 5th in franchise history with 7.39 K/9 and cracked the exclusive Single Season K/9 franchise Top 10 at #9 with 8.79 in 2008 (Nolan Ryan holds 7 of the top 8 spots). HIs 51 Wins ranks 16th all time.