Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mets’ Offense Showing Deficiency; Johan Continues Recovery

New York – Johan Santana was pleased with his second outing of the season at Citi Field Wednesday afternoon. The New York Mets left hander opened the2012 campaign six days ago at home throwing five scoreless innings in a no-decision. Though the Mets would lose 4-0 to the Washington Nationals, Santana was pleased. “I was able to compete and feel good,” said Santana the two-time Cy Yong Award winner who sat out all of last year after surgery to his left elbow. It was a tough first inning of work, 27 pitches, but he had good command except for a slider that got away in the second inning that gave the Nationals a run.

One thing is certain for the Mets. They know Santana has recovered, though they are still being cautious. He threw 93 pitches in five innings. After his 99th pitch to Jason Werth in the sixth, he was lifted.

However the Mets bats have not been very active these past two games against the Nationals. Washington took two of the three games and New York was limited to three hits in the Wednesday afternoon game, attributed to their highly touted 23-year old starter Stephen Strasburg.

He threw over 100 pitches and was able to get out of two-out one out jam in the sixth inning. One of the outs was a pitch that was questionable to Bay which appeared to be a ball on the replay. Terry Collins was tossed in the top of the seventh inning by plate umpire Larry Vanover regarding that strike call to Jason Bay.

Bay, batting fourth, was subjected to constant boos from the Citi Field crowds this week when he came to bat. One of the high salaried players left on a Mets team payroll, that has been reduced, was not productive last season. In the six games Bay was 3-for19, in 19 at bats.

“I have been facing pretty good pitching the past couple of days,” said Bay who did not address the issue about the controversial pitch. “It’s a matter of building on it. I feel I have had some pretty good at bats.”

Ike Davis, who sat down the night before was back in the lineup and a single off Strasburg in the sixth ended a 0-for-18 start. And the Mets may not see David Wright for the next few games as they head to Philadelphia and Atlanta.

Wright is scheduled to see a hand specialist in New York on the off day Thursday to further determine his condition of a small fracture in the fifth finger of his right hand. Wright was wearing a splint Wednesday in the clubhouse and said he hopes to be back in the lineup Friday when the Mets open a three-game series in Philadelphia.

Notes: Collins said about the lack of hitting: “We took some good pitches down the middle the last two innings and you can’t do that.” On the bullpen that issued ten walks, the first since May 9 of 2010 against San Francisco, he said “We didn’t pitch well today. Lucky we did not lose by ten runs.”

The Mets went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and are 9-for-54 in their first six games….Ruben Tejada went 1-for-4 and the last four games is 7-for-15 and was at the top of the league in the category coming into the game….Santana and the pen struck out 10, the fourth consecutive game Mets pitchers have had double strikeouts which was last done June 10-June 13, 2008.


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