Johan Santana Wins Pitcher of the Month

According to a press release by the New York Mets, left-hander Johan Santana has been elected National League Pitcher of the Month for April after going 3-1 with an ERA of 1.10 in the season’s opening month.

Santana was the portrait of consistency in five starts, never allowing more than two runs and always striking out at least seven. He finished the month with 44 whiffs in 32 2/3 innings, with a pair of double-digit efforts — against the Marlins (13) on April 12, and against Washington (10) on April 24.

His streak of 18 consecutive starts without a loss, reverting to July 9, 2008, was ended by the Marlins in that April 12 meeting.

The 30-year-old native of Venezuela hence defended his NL Pitcher of the Month laurels — seven months apart. He’d also taken the honors last September, a month in which he went 4-0 with a 1.83 ERA. Overall, this is his seventh monthly award, including five American League honors with the Minnesota Twins.

Santana had to prevail over some tough competition: The Dodgers’ Chad Billingsley was undefeated in four decisions, with a 2.14 ERA; Arizona’s Dan Haren posted a 1.54 ERA with 36 strikeouts; new San Diego closer Heath Bell was perfect in eight save opportunities with an ERA of 0.00.

Where would the Mets be without Johan Santana?

He is the single most irreplaceable player on this team and the true MVP of the Mets.

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