After he was roughed up in the two starts following his 134-pitch no-hitter, there was worry again something might be wrong with Johan Santana’s surgically-repaired left shoulder.
Six scoreless innings last night against the Orioles eased those concerns. Not entirely, because can you ever be certain about a shoulder, but there’s a good feeling about the tandem of him and R.A. Dickey.
Every game has a moment of decision for a pitcher, and Santana’s came in the fourth when the Orioles had runners on second and third with one out. Santana responded by striking out the next two hitters.
The Mets have thrown consecutive shutouts three times this season and lead the majors with eight overall.
In addition to Santana, the Mets continued to receive positive offensive news, from an expected source and a surprise.
Lucas Duda homered again and Jordany Valdespin added a two-run single while demonstrating his versatility. Last night he was in left; the night before at second.
And, maybe the biggest plus was getting three scoreless innings from what has been an erratic bullpen. Terry Collins is going back to handling Santana with kid gloves after the no-hitter, which translates into more innings from the pen.
Thoughts from Joe D.
I’ll be honest with you. His two starts after the no-hitter had me very concerned. All I kept thinking about was Terry Collins tearing up after the no-hitter and lamenting the toll the 134 pitches may have taken on Santana’s surgically repaired shoulder. Was last night a huge sigh of relief for all of us? You betcha… We may officially now have the best 1-2 punch in the NL East with Johan and Dickey, and quite possibly the entire NL as well.