Wanna Know How Good Santana Is?

An article by posted on May 23, 2009

The Mets defense keeps finding themselves in all sorts of predicaments when Santana is on the mound. Seven unearned runs as a result of 11 errors behind Johan. Usually you rely a team’s defense to bail the pitcher out of a jam. In Santana’s case, it’s the pitcher who bails his team out of their jams. That’s how good Santana is. The Mets keep putting Johan in harm’s way and he battles back every time to get himself, and his errant fielders, out of it.

Talk about a stopper.

For a long time, Mets fans complained that the offense didn’t give Santana any run support, and they were correct. In his past two starts, Santana has gotten that much needed and deserved run support. And even though he did not have his best stuff last night, he did work his way out of jams all night, leaving 10 Boston base runners in scoring position.  His ERA climbed to a whopping 1.50, and he found a way to get his team an imperative and necessary win.

And what was Kevin Youklis barking about? So he got nicked on the elbow, big deal. When Dice-K threw inside twice on two consecutive pitches to David Wright earlier in the game, did you hear a peep out of the Mets, their fans, or even the broadcast booth? I loved Santana’s comments after the game, “After I hit him, he kept looking at me, and I don’t appreciate that…I told him to take his base…If you’re gonna look at me, you’re gonna get it right back…I have respect for everyone and I have respect for this game…I don’t play that kind of game, but if I have to, I’m always there for my team.”  Oh, how I wish he was an everyday player.

The turning point for Santana was when he hit Youklis in he fifth inning. After that, he shut it down, and only had to struggle through a difficult sixth inning because of a Martinez error - one of two on the night - at short. Santana may have pitched angrily after the Youklis incident, but it worked to his advantage. 

Message to Youklis (and the rest of the Boston Red Sox): You got the wrong New York team, boys – don’t mess with us!!

The Mets ended their 70 consecutive innings streak without a home run last night when Gary Sheffield sent a bomb to left field  in the second inning. Sheffield was supposed to DH last night, but with Carlos Beltran experiencing a sore knee, Sheff ended up in left field with Reed in center and Beltran as the DH. Ryan Church left the game in the 4th inning because of a sore hamstring. Angel Pagan took over for him in right and drove in an insurance run in the seventh.

The Mets were able to cash in during the fourth when Red Sox shortstop Julio Lugo opted to remain flat-footed while turning a double play instead of coming across the bag to make the throw to first. Omir Santos and Ramon Martinez followed that with back-to-back RBI singles.

So while the Mets did their part by beating Boston, the Yankees failed to hold up their end of the bargain. Even that they can’t do right. I think they should make this one up to us by giving us game 1 of the subway series. If only it was that easy …

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