Johan Santana: He Coulda Been A Contender…

An article by posted on June 3, 2010

 

Everybody has a breaking point, and even though Johan Santana has not reached his, I’m thinking that a couple of more devastating losses like last night, and Johan will be singing a different tune. After the game, Santana may have revealed his frustration with the bullpen when he made this comment,

“I can only do so much. I told pitching coach Dan Warthen that I felt I can go 150, 200 pitches if I have to.”

You know what… If anybody can do it’s probably Johan, and while I wouldn’t want to force that kind of a workload on any pitcher, I wouldn’t hesitate to go 150 pitches with Santana considering his smooth delivery and the fact that about 40% of his pitches are his slow but lethal change-ups.

Who can blame Santana for willing to take his game to another level when he gets little in the way of offensive support from his teammates and absolutely no relief from his bullpen?

As the NY Post pointed out in their recap, while Mike Pelfrey has managed an 8-1 record in his 11 starts, Santana has seen his best efforts wasted. He lowered his ERA to 2.76 – not far behind Pelfrey’s 2.39 – but his record remained locked at 4-2.

Santana is currently in the midst of a 15-inning scoreless streak over his last two games and has no wins to show for it. Worse yet, over his last five starts, Santana has a 0.74 ERA and the Mets are 1-4 in that span. You can’t get much worse than that.

Watching two consecutive walk-of losses while pitching a couple of gems is too much to take for me and most fans, but imagine how much worse it must feel for Santana?

What was looking like a potential Hall of Fame career for Johan Santana, has been snuffed out during his time with the Mets.

Even as Santana’s velocity diminishes, he has learned to master his craft and has elevated his mound presence tremendously. He has a great sense of knowing how to get out of a jam and can still make great hitters look feeble at the plate. Simply put, Johan has the heart of a lion and a killer instinct whenever he takes the mound.

When your rotation is as shaky as the Mets’ is, you can’t lose the stellar performances of your ace pitcher. Those are the games you are supposed to win.

Santana deserves a better fate than the one that his teammates have orchestrated for him. The more he does, the less he gets.

We should be riding his arm all the way to a division title, but instead the Mets are content with being just a stick in the mud.

Santana will easily go down as one of the greatest pitchers in Mets history, ranking up there with Tom Seaver and Dwight Gooden. The difference is that Seaver and Gooden both have World Series rings with the Mets, and of course Santana does not. But don’t blame Santana for that, instead blame the rest of the team for there lies the problem.

Sorry Johan, you shoulda’ been a contender.

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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