Don’t Mess With Han Solo!

This back page from this morning’s Daily News brought a smile to my face. What a remarkable comeback we are seeing from our ace Johan Santana!

Santana has pitched solidly all season long, but yesterday took the cake and he looked and played the part of a true ace pitcher by delivering a complete-game shutout to beat the Padres and improve to 2-2 on the year.

Santana struck out seven batters and allowed just four base hits and all he needed was 96 pitches to get it done. His 2.75 ERA leads all Mets starters and isn’t that exactly what you would expect from your ace and number one starter? But more incredible than that is his 9.54 strikeouts per nine innings which currently is the sixth best K/9 rate in the game.

Terry Collins was glowing when speaking about Santana’s inspiring and gutsy performance:

“He’s been an ace his whole career. Just because he doesn’t have the 96 mph fastball anymore, doesn’t mean he can’t still be an ace. You expect your ace to go out and stop losing streaks, or pitch 200 innings, and that kind of things he does. But with Johan his whole approach and mentality is second to none. He wanted it bad. To go out there and pitch a game like that is incredible.”

What else can you say about Johan? The guy is a true warrior and still ranks up there among the elite pitchers in the game. Yesterday was a huge step forward and I believe a sign of greater things to come.