Thursday, April 12, 2012

Santana Gets The Loss in Mets Loss to Nats and Strasburg

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

“I was able to compete and feel good,” aid 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 99 th pitch
to Jason Werth in the sixth, he was lifted relieved by Manny Acosta. Four other
pitchers followed and if the Mets were able to score some runs, perhaps Santana
would have been got his first win of the season.

“I’m very happy at this stage,” said Mets manager Terry Collins about Santana.
He was tossed in the top of the seventh inning by plate umpire Larry Vanover
regarding a strike call to Jason Bay in the previous inning. “And five days from
now you will see him again,” he said.

And that is the plan for Santana, to pitch on schedule now that it appears the 33-
year old is back to health. During the completed opening season home stand, in
which the Mets went 4-2, players in the clubhouse said having their ace back was
an incentive and the pitching staff reiterated that Santana made it competitive to
go that extra mile on the mound.

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.

“He never says a word and when he is angered there is an issue,” said Collins
about the pitch to Bay. “I went out there to protect him,” added Collins as to what
caused his first ejection of the season.

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.”

However, Collins is concerned that good pitching from Santana did not come with
runs from his offense. 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

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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This post is sponsored in part by Bay Club Bayside & Forest Hills Rentals

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