It really is a great feeling when the Sox are going into the ninth inning in a save situation. It is a feeling that has gone astray from me for a few years, but Sergio Santos has brought me back to that amazing calming feeling. Not since Bobby was dominant at the end of 2005 to 2008 have I felt this good about a White Sox closer. Bobby recorded 117 saves in 129 opportunities in those dominant years. That is an over 90% success rate. Since then the back end of the bullpen has been shaky to say the least with the falling of Jenks’ dominance and the Chris Sale/Matt Thornton experience we have had to suffer though this season. It took some time but the White Sox have found their closer, and hopefully for years to come.
Santos has had very literally only one bad outing this year. In his 28 innings pitched he has given up only 4 earned runs leaving an ERA for the season so far at 1.29. So when I say literally one bad outing I mean that in that bad outing he gave up the only 4 runs he has surrendered this year. Something that really impressed me is how Santos has pitched since that game against the Dodgers. As a baseball player, and really a closer especially you have to have a short memory. You cannot dwell on past failures interfere with your future success. Santos has pitched scoreless ball since then and really proved that he is comfortable in his new role. Not to mention he has amazing control and it shows with his WHIP being a microscopic 0.96. Plain and simple, at this point in the season Sergio Santos is getting the job done.
Another thing that I have noticed different about Santos is his attitude on the mound. He has clearly embraced the role of closer, and is trying to fit the part. With closers being the “bad boy” of the staff and to try to intimidate, Santos is trying his best to fit in. With arms full of tattoos and a new glare at the opposing batter Santos is really looking more and more like a closer with ever dominant save he is racking up. Not bad for a concerted shortstop who used to make bets with his teammates on how hard he could throw the ball.