Okay, okay, another "Johan is great" post that’s probably three days late. But with good reason. I didn’t want to write a blog entry that said: "Johan’s awesome!!!! He struck out 8 Marlins!!!! Mets are going all the way!!!!" There’s more to Johan Santana than his strikeout-to-walk ratio. Or the number of innings he pitches. Or even how many wins he earns for the Mets.
On Monday, I made the drive from Fort Myers to Miami to watch Johan Santana’s big debut for the Mets. I went to watch a new era of Mets baseball officially begin, perhaps an era that will bring the Mets back to the postseason and an era that will certainly make the last season at Shea a memorable one.
I’m not one for stats or anything, but Santana only threw 8 pitches to get himself out of the first inning. It took Marlins starter Mark Hendrickson 20. After I saw those two numbers, I completely forgot about pitch count, strikeouts, and walks whenever Santana took the mound. Watching him pitch was absolutely one of the most magical things ever, and seeing him on Opening Day made even more special. My focus was fixated on Santana as he masterfully befuddled the Marlins. After his seven innings of work were done, he was given a well deserved ovation by Mets fans everywhere.
I could have just written that Johan Santana is the greatest pitcher today and throw some stats out there to make it seem smart. But Johan Santana is much more complicated than the stats in Tuesday’s sports section. I think I would need 30 posts to describe this one game, but I will instead sum it up in one word: magical.