So What’s The Deal With Johan Santana?

An article by posted on June 15, 2009

It’s been a steady decline in performance for Johan Santana recently. It’s a decline that began on May 16th and culminated in an all time low point in his career on Sunday against the Yankees.

Santana’s velocity has now dropped to 89 MPH on his fastball, which makes his usual lethal changeup a lot less lethal and his fastball a lot more hittable. He wasn’t fooling anybody out there on Sunday, and you could say the same thing about his last game against the Phillies who touched him up for four homeruns in cozy Citi Field.

“It was a bad day, actually one of the worst of my career,” said Santana, who was rocked for a career-high nine runs and nine hits in three-plus innings. “There are no excuses or anything, today was just a rough day.”

Now here is something I found kind of odd. Apparently, pitching coach Dan Warthen said Santana changed the grip on his fastball a few starts ago because of a blister on his middle finger, and thinks the new grip may have created more cutting action on the ball that caused a slight decrease in velocity. I don’t know who’s dumb idea it was to change the grip of one of the best pitchers in baseball, but here’s how I feel about that…

If it was Johan’s idea, bad freaking idea dude!

If it was Warthen’s idea, pack your shit up and leave the premises, your fired!

The Mets need for Johan Santana to get his act together and return to the form we saw in April. He was once the sure thing in the rotation, but not anymore. The Mets have no sure things in the rotation. Worse yet, their starting pitchers (or whatever you want to call them these days) have to be nearly perfect whenever they are on the mound. Even just one mistake pitch and the game could be lost. The reason for that is that the offense can’t go toe to toe with the upper echelon teams. They can’t wait out around for the eventual three run homer like they used to. Reading a Mets boxscore is mind boggling to say the least; 17 hits – 5 runs, 11 hits – 2 runs, 10 hits – 0 runs.

The Mets fixed the bullpen, but thought they would leave leftfield, rightfield, first base, catcher and second base in the hands of a bunch of singles hitters with warning track power. Sure Tatis and Church might hit the occasional homerun, but gimme a break…

The only thing that has kept the Mets afloat this season is Gary Sheffield, who was a last minute addition courtesy of the Detroit Tigers. Without Sheff, the Mets would already be counting down their tragic number.

So get well soon Johan, and remember… You have to be perfect…

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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