This time, it was the Mets’ bullpen that betrayed Johan Santana. The Mets finally scored runs for him, but the bullpen blew a four-run lead in the eighth inning with Tim Byrdak serving a grand slam homer to Todd Helton.
Another no-decision for Santana, who is still looking for his first victory since September 2010.
I know Santana doesn’t regret the money, but there are times such as yesterday when I wonder if he regrets not staying with Minnesota, where he had a chance to go to the World Series, or try the free-agent market where he could have gotten the money and a better chance to win.
The Mets were still a contender when they acquired him, but there were major cracks in the foundation. When Santana agreed to the deal, did he think about those things?
Santana has pitched well with the Mets when healthy, and to be fair, injuries could have happened anywhere. But, there have been too many games when the offense disappeared or the bullpen imploded to make him wonder if he did the right thing.
“We won. and that’s all I care about,” Santana said after yesterday’s game.
But, if winning is the only thing that matters, there must be times when he wonders if he made the right decision as there have been so many games since joining the Mets when he came away empty.
Santana is 0-2 with three no-decisions despite a 2.25 ERA this year. He’s given up only six earned runs in 18 innings, with four of them coming in one start.
He pitched to a 2.89 ERA in 2010 before the injury, but with nine no-decisions. Eight of those were games decided by two runs or less, and seven by one run.
In 2009, eight games he started that the Mets lost were decided by two runs, with five by one run.
There were 11 no-decisions in 2008, with the Mets winning six of those games. The Mets lost nine of the games he started by two runs or less, with six by one run.
All those numbers reminds me of the Peanuts cartoon strip when Charlie Brown, after being told of his lousy pitching record, screams “Tell your statistics to shut up!”
Trouble is, that can’t be done. The stats are louder than ever.