I’m sure you all remember the tearful post-game presser by Terry Collins on the night of June 1, 2012. That was the historic date of Johan Santana’s no-hitter, the first in Mets franchise history.
Collins had originally intended to cap Johan’s pitches at 115, and you could se him agonizing after every pitch that went beyond that. At one point, Collins walked to the mound to plead with his pitcher who was on the brink of history, but Santana lookd him dead in the eye and said. “Don’t worry, I got it.”
Later, he admitted, “I just couldn’t take him out, just couldn’t do it.”
It took 134 pitches to achieve the grand feat and while we all celebrated, Collins stood proud and told Santana that he was his hero, but there was no hiding his fear of what the cost was for this momentous accomplishment.
“In five days, if his arm’s bothering him, I’m not going to feel very good,” said Collins.
The good news is that Santana’s arm has not been bothering him, but his arm has been bothering many of us who have been watching. Johan hasn’t been the same since that fateful night. In fact, Santana has been pretty awful.
This could all be just a coincidence, and those two starts on the extra days rest that I alluded to yesterday certainly skews the numbers. But what if Collins was justified in his concern about letting Santana throw those 134 pitches?
That kind of a workload can be pretty taxing and worrisome for any pitcher, let alone a pitcher who is returning from capsular surgery on his shoulder.
One fact remains certain, and that is if the Mets are to have any chance at nailing down one of those wild card spots this fall, they are going to need the Johan Santana we saw in the first two months of the season and not this current version. They cant pull this off without him… Believe it.