Johan Santana Good – Bullpen, Not So Much In Mets 4-0 Loss

Johan Santana had a good, albeit short outing, the offense provided no support and the bullpen was wild in the Mets 4-0 loss to the Nationals.

Game Recap

Johan Santana took the mound today, and despite some early-inning control trouble, managed to navigate his way through five innings. Santana was much more dominating then his stat-line will attest to, going five innings allowing one run (that scored on a wild pitch) on five hits, walking three and striking out eight. Santana continues to look better and better with each start, from spring training until now. While his velocity was around 88-90 MPH for the day, he was using all of his pitches and avoided trouble until the fifth. To boot, Santana went four pitches beyond his 95 pitch limit.

Manny Acosta was brought in after Santana walked his first batter, and proceeded to walk the next two batters. In an act of serendipity, he got former Met Xaiver Nady to line into a double play, and Daniel Murphy flicked it to Ruben Tejada to complete it. Acosta would get out of the inning with a line-out to center to end the sixth. Acosta would return for the seventh and allow one hit and a walk before his day ended. Acosta’s final line was one and one-third innings, three walks and one hit, no strikeouts. Terry Collins called in Ramon Ramirez from the bullpen, and then was ejected for probably arguing the inconsistent strike zone. Ramirez would strike out his first batter, but then walk in a run and induced a pop-out. Ramirez would finish his day allowing one run on two hits, walking two and striking out one. Jon Rauch come out for two-thirds of an inning and pitched a clean line. Miguel Batista came out for the ninth, gave up a hit, hit a batter and then walked another. Tim Byrdak was brought into a bases-loaded, ninth inning jam, got two outs and then walked home ANOTHER runner before getting a flyout. Byrdaks final line is 1 IP, 0 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 1 strikeout.

The bullpen was horrible today. Walking seven, hitting a batter and walking in two of the four runs.

Offensively, the Mets couldn’t buy a hit off of Stephen Strasburg. Ruben Tejada had a hit in the first at-bat of the game, and the Mets wouldn’t get another hit until the sixth inning. Strasburg was wildly effective, walking three and hitting Ronny Cedeno. The Mets were a victim yet again of inability to drive in runners in scoring position, or even get runners on base. The batters were just out of sync, making weak contact when any contact was made at all.

Turning Point

Every misplay of a ball by Josh Thole. Those misplays lead to extra bases, a run scoring and even a loss of a strike.

Player of The Game

Johan Santana deserves the player of the game, more than any one player deserves to be the goat. Johan pitched an admirable five innings, and the lack of offense and poor bullpen showing left Santana winless for the 2012 season

Game Notes

Josh Thole had a poor game blocking the baseball, but did manage to throw out Danny Espinosa at third base.

The Mets outfielders and infielders have not been good on the year in hitting the cut-off man and making the correct throws. They are allowing extra bases to be taken, and routinely the cutoff men are dropping the throws and getting lucky the runners don’t advance

The umpiring today was horrible for both teams. Strikes in previous innings became balls in later innings, and on a Jason Bay at bat in the sixth, strike 2 was about 4 inches outside, and strike three was in the opposing batters box.

Despite losing two of the last three, the Mets are tied for first place with the Nationals.

Up Next

The Mets will have off on Thursday, but will travel to Philadelphia for their first road series to face off against the Phillies. R.A. Dickey will face off against Cliff Lee, and game time is 7:05 P.M.