Braves Rough Up Santana In A 9-3 Mets Loss
Johan Santana must have got on the bad side of lady luck as he records only four outs in a 9-3 Mets defeat.
If you check the box score, you will see a line of 1.1 IP for Santana with 6 R(4 ER), 4 H, and a walk. Santana has never lasted less than three innings in a game, so this is the shortest outing of his career. I can assure you, however, that he did not pitch nearly as bad as the line shows. The defense behind him left a lot to be desired as a Bay error in the first allowed an unearned run without a hit, and an errant Ike Davis throw in the second did not help matters at all. I will say that only one ball against Santana was really hit hard, and it was a rocket of a single by Matt Diaz. As Joey D. pointed out, the Braves did get some good swings on him in the first, however. The two RBI 2Bs by Freeman and Pastornicky in the second were both late swings and placed in lucky spots – hit the other way down the line. Santana’s E.R.A. jumped from 0.90 to 3.97 after this start and I am sure he will be bombarded with questions after the game. I for one, am not too worried about him yet.
Batista took over after and pitched an inning and two thirds cleanly, striking out two while routinely ramping up his velocity to about 94 MPH. Ramon Ramirez pitched the next two innings, allowing two runs in the bottom of the fifth after the Mets scored two in the top of the fourth, effectively killing whatever momentum the Amazins’ had picked up. A pinch-hit HR by Francisco off Manny Acosta in the 8th added the ninth run for the Braves. Acosta did finish the final 3 innings, matching his career high in IP for a game.
After the Mets fell behind 6-0, the offense had many opportunities to make a comeback, and just seemed outmatched out there tonight. The only sustained moment of success was a string of hits in the 4th after Uggla lost a Jason Bay pop up in the lights for a 2B. Thole, Kirk, and Baxter each proceeded to single, giving the Mets 2 in the inning. They scratched out a run in the sixth, but the 3-11 with RISP and 10 men LOB tell the real story. All 3 hits, however, were with 2 outs (Thole, Murphy, Baxter.)
On a lighter note, Wright/Murphy/Kirk all had two hits today, and Kirk definitely looked the most comfortable at the plate tonight. Nieuwenhuis really has looked impressive in his short stint so far, with his average bumped up to .321 and above average defense.
The defense… Well…about that. The error for Jason Bay led to the unearned run in the first and Ike Davis completely lost the handle on a ball he was trying to gun to Wright at third. I really have to chalk this up to bad luck, because both men are usually superb in the field.
Goat Of The Game
Johan Santana, unfortunately, who just did not have it today and his defense nor offense could not bail him out.
If Uggla had caught Bay’s pop out cleanly, he would have gone 0-4 with a K. He is pressing up there and I wonder if that HR last night was a sign of things to come or the outlier.
Both Johan Santana and Randall Delgado had moments where they literally almost lost their heads – you can thank Matt Diaz and David Wright for flashing their lives before their eyes on about 100 MPH line drives right back at them.
With Ramirez and Acosta throwing a combined 5 innings today, the likelihood is that they will not be available tomorrow with the game being so early.
Santana threw 55 pitches, 35 of them for strikes. We will see how they approach his next start in terms of the work they will give him in between.
Although Thole is not skilled defensively, he seems to have improved his approach at the plate significantly.
The Mets fall to 7-4 while the Braves improve to 6-5.
Tomorrow, the Mets will try to win the rubber game of this series against the Braves with R.A. Dickey taking the mound against Jair Jurrjens. 12:10 start. (not a typo.)
On a side note, if anybody is attending the games on Friday night or Saturday afternoon, let me know. I will be at both games and I will be happy to meet any readers or fellow writers here. LGM!
About the Author: Satish Ram
I am a Senior Writer and Editor here at MetsMerized - where I specialize in Minor League coverage. I have been on the staff since 2007 and I am currently in my third semester of college in New York City. You can find me at www.facebook.com/SatishRam or @SilverHeatMMO. Feel free to message me - I love talking about the Mets or baseball overall with anybody.
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