Jerry Manuel had his choice of either Johan Santana or Pedro Martinez to open tonight’s series against Atlanta. It was a no-brainer.
He’s the guy if you want to open a series,” Manuel said. “If you had a choice, you would choose, at this point in their careers, Johan.”
In a six-game winless stretch from June 6-July 4, the Mets gave Santana 11 runs. And, with the bullpen coughing up the lead in six of his games, it wouldn’t be a stretch to think that with a little support he could be going after his 20th win tonight. His 2.70 ERA, not 13-7 record is indicative of how well he’s pitched.
Santana prevented the Mets from being swept by Philadelphia last Sunday, easily his most important victory of the season. That game is why they got him.