Carlos Santana has provided Cleveland Indians fans with immense amounts of joy in the past 48 hours in what has been a continuation of a great season.
It all started on Sunday for the Cleveland Indians.
Then came Monday. Hand blew a save, Santana hit a game-winning walk-off home run, and Hand took home another win. For all the “pitcher wins are important” folks out there.
The exciting part has nothing to do with Hand. It is all about Santana, who has willed his team to the top of the American League Central division. Jason Kipnis‘ reaction to Monday’s walk-off sums up how most fans are feeling.
Getting Santana back has been a huge victory for the Indians and a major improvement over Yonder Alonso.
Santana leads the team (among qualified hitters) in home runs (26), RBI (71), walks (85), OBP (.408), SLG (.531) runs scored (83) and is tied with Jose Ramirez for total games played. He does it all and more.
This season may not have turned around as much if not for Santana. Just think how the deadline could have been different if the team had 5-7 more losses at the time. Instead, the front office didn’t panic and decided to make a bold move to trade Trevor Bauer.
That brought in the reinforcements of Franmil Reyes and Yasiel Puig to help out Santana and the rest of the lineup. On that note, Reyes finally hit a home run Monday night. The first of many more to come.
The crazy thing about Santana is that he will go down as a Cleveland legend when his career is over, but 2019 marked his first All-Star Game appearance. He doesn’t own much hardware in terms of awards during his time in the league and he has never been a star of the game.
Yet that is better in a city like Cleveland. No matter how this season ends, the past two victories will go down as perhaps the most memorable games of the entire regular season. That is thanks to Santana staying steady and being the most reliable player on the team.
I still can’t believe he was allowed to walk last year. Luckily the front office realized the folly of such a move and brought back our hero.