Johan Is the Man…. to blame!

You know as if I didn’t wake up today in a worse mood. I’m an NHL Penguins fan and a Mets fan of course, so yesterday was on all accounts, a bad sports day.

Today, I read two posts on our site describing in great detail why basically Jerry Manuel deserves to take the heat for yesterday’s loss. I have gone to other sites, seen the same thing, and I am sure without tuning into WFAN for the Francesa show that a bunch of people reading this in an hour are on hold waiting to demand Manuel be fired. 

I don’t like Jerry Manuel as an on the field Manager. I can’t see the day when he leads this team to a Championship. However, while there are plenty of things to bash him on, last night is not one of them. 

First, lets get this Gary Matthews Jr. & Fernando Tatis thing out of the way. The Mets scored 5 runs against Moyer, which should be enough to win a game with Santana on the mound. So you can kill him for it, but that lineup scored enough. If the final score was 5-1, nobody would be complaining about the lineup.

Reyes had to stay batting 3rd because he has to continue to get used to that while Beltran is out. He can’t keep going back and forth. Matthews Jr. had some success on Moyer in the past but has had a terrible start to the season. If there was a time for Manuel to test GMJ to see if he is still worthy of a roster spot, it was last night. I hope Jerry got the answer loud and clear last night.

We all love Ike Davis. He’s likeable, homegrown and a great talent. But sometimes, he isn’t going to play. Jamie Moyer is very tough against lefties, and like Matthews Jr., Tatis put up good numbers against Moyer. You have to get your bench guys some playing time. This was a good opportunity. So lets all chill out and not jump off the Brooklyn Bridge because Ike Davis isn’t playing.

Okay, the lineup is out of the way. 

On May 23, 2004 in Minnesota the White Sox defeated the Twins by a score of 17-7. Johan Santana coming off a Cy Young season went just 3 innings pitched, and gave up 10 hits and 7 earned runs. 

May 17, 2005 in Minnesota again, this time the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Twins 10-3. Santana went 5.1 IP giving up 9 hits and 7 earned runs. 

July 23, 2007 in Toronto, the Blue Jays defeated the Twins 6-4. Santana went just 5 innings, giving up 7 hits and 6 earned runs. 

July 17, 2008 in Cincinnati, the Mets came back to defeat the Reds by a score of 10-8 thanks to a 9th inning rally. Santana went 4 innings, allowing 6 hits and 5 earned runs.

Finally, June 14, 2009 in Yankee Stadium the Mets were defeated 15-0. Santana went just 3 innings, giving up 9 hits and 9 earned runs.

6 isolated games (including last night), and none of which were the Manager’s fault because he played a bench player at 1B, or CF. 

None of them were the Manager’s fault because he didn’t yank his ace with 2 outs and a lifetime .091 hitter coming up to face him who just happened to hit a Grand Slam. If Manuel would’ve taken the ball from Santana prior to Victorino and somebody else gave up the Grand Slam, you all would be killing Manuel for it saying “Santana had 2 outs and Victorino is a lifetime .091 hitter against him!” It was a no win situation for Jerry, and he had to go with the guy he trusted the most.

Johan Santana is the ace of your staff. Just like you don’t get the pen warm when your closer is in trouble, you have to trust your ace. I’ve heard some people say Santana should’ve been pulled before Moyer got up which is ridiculous.

It’s not Jerry’s fault Santana walked Moyer, and it’s not his fault that Victorino hit a Grand Slam. If Manuel came out and took Santana out with 2 outs and Victorino up and he still hit the Grand Slam, everybody would be complaining about how you don’t take your Ace out with 2 outs against a guy who hits .091 against him!

The game was over the second Victorino hit that ball, and that my friends is the fault of 1 person. 

His name is Johan Santana. He’s allowed to have a bad start here or there, and if you look, he usually only has 1 awful outing like last night per year.

It stinks that it had to come last night, but it did. Get over it. Quit pretending Santana can’t do anything wrong, the Mets offense, and Jerry Manuel did enough to win the game on Sunday, May 2nd. Unfortunately their Ace didn’t have it, and has to make up for it on Saturday in New York.

About Michael Branda 267 Articles
Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.