Going into Spring training (well, before the injuries to Big John and Myspace) the first four of the rotation was set: Lackey, Escobar, Weaver and Garland. But there was a question, who would be the fifth starter? Would it be Ervin Santana, the Cy younger at home but terrible on the road? Would it be Joe Saunders, the capable lefty without all that much presumable upside? Or could it be Dustin Moseley, who had shown he could be capable filling in for a spot start?
Well, Moseley wasnt really good enough to be a quality starter, and had the least upside of the trio. It was pretty clear that he would be moved to the bullpen, waiting in the wings. The real battle was between Saunders and Ervin. The jobs was presumably Saunders to lose, as management most likely thought that Ervin needed some more time in the minors to find some consistency and regain his 06 form. But due to injuries, both were given spots in the rotation. Neither has looked back for a second.
Combined, Ervin and Joe have a 3.17 ERA through 165 1/3 innings pitched with a combined 17-4 record. They have a 1.02 WHIP and 106 Ks to 37 BBs. Those numbers belong to a Cy Young winning League Ace, not the pitching numbers from the Angels 5th starter slot (well, going into spring training). Bartolo Colon won the Cy Young for the Angels in 05 with 21 wins and a 3.48 ERA and 1.159 WHIP. What the Sensationally Superb Smash Siblings have put up this year have been just mind boggling. Ervin Santana has a 136 ERA+ (meaning he is 36% more valuable than the average pitcher) while Joe Saunders has an astonishing 156 ERA+ (56% more valuable). They are first and second in wins, among many other numerous accolades that if listed here, would result in a never ending post.
While all of these above stats are astonishing, i have saved the best information for last. There has been nearly Zero Coverage of these feats. Go onto espn.com and search saunders and santana into the search bar, and you get two articles written since the season began, and only one after may 4th. On yahoo, search the same and you get one half article saying that saunders and santana are the only teammates to start 6-0 since 2002. On SportsIllustrated there are two mentions of the duo, while there is one, presumed to be the only on a major sports site, article on how santana and saunders have been dominating. If you type in joba and hughes on ESPN there are more than 10 articles since the season began. I thought that maybe this could be because of all the coverage around joba, so i decided to type in hughes and kennedy. There were over 11 hits. I cant find a more compelling case for east coast bias than this. The two best teammate pitchers (record wise) are getting absolutely no coverage.