The Indians certainly weren't left thinking about how Santana entered Wednesday's start 0-6 with a 4.98 ERA against them in his career.
"A lot of times with a no-hitter, you do have to have good stuff, but it doesn't necessarily mean you have your best stuff," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "But he was terrific today. He had a very good fastball and a very good slider."
Ezequiel Carrera reached on an error by shortstop Erick Aybar to open the Indians' half of the first. No Tribe hitter reached base after that point until third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall drew a walk with one out in the eighth. Santana set down 22 in a row, using a mid-90s heater and stifling slider.
"He's the type of guy that has electric stuff," said Travis Buck, who pinch-hit for Austin Kearns and struck out looking to start the ninth. "He throws all his pitches for strikes, has good bite on his breaking pitches. Guys like that are scary. Once they feel that all their pitches are good, it's tough to get a couple hits off them."
Santana worked quickly and efficiently, completing the first no-hitter thrown against the Indians since Yankees hurler Jim Abbott on Sept. 4, 1993. The Indians used patience Tuesday to make Angels ace Jered Weaver labor through seven innings. Tribe first baseman Matt LaPorta said the same strategy might have worked against Santana, but the Indians swung too early and often.
"He throws a good amount of sliders, and he's got a good fastball," LaPorta said. "You've got to get him up out over the plate and don't chase."
Santana had pinpoint command of all of his pitches, which kept the Indians guessing each time they dug into the batter's box.
"He just controlled all of his pitches, kept the ball down," outfielder Michael Brantley said. "He kept us off balance. When you do that, it can be tough to face anybody."
Santana made his Major League debut in Cleveland, the first start in his series of struggles against the Indians. On May 17, 2005, Santana surrendered six runs on eight hits in four innings of a 13-5 loss to the Tribe. He threw a complete-game shutout six days later, erasing his past, just like he did Wednesday at Progressive Field.
"He adapts. His stuff was great [in his big league debut], but his command wasn't," Angels skipper Mike Scioscia said. "He matched the command today."
Zack Meisel is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.