When the Mets flourished in June, Johan Santana struggled, going 1-3 with a 4.68 ERA. Then as the Mets hit the skids in July Santana has been brilliant at 3-0 with a 0.71 ERA.
But all that talk of him losing it in June was just that as Santana proves that on any given night he can be as great as anybody.
At 8-5, his record is mediocre, but his 2.79 ERA suggests he’s anything but.
Santana has a no decision in eight of his 21 starts, with the Mets going on to lose five of those games. And in those games he’s given up a total of nine runs, three times not given up a run. There have been nine games in which the Mets scored three or less runs.
The Mets are currently 6 ½ games behind Atlanta. Reverse the outcome of the no-decisions in games lost by the Mets in which he’s pitched then the race has a different complexion to it.
It is time for the Mets and Mike Pelfrey to stop fooling around.
Game #93 at Diamondbacks
At one time the Mets were 11 games over .500 and a game behind Atlanta. They go into Arizona tonight just six games over and five games behind.
Their slide and coincided with Pelfrey’s five-start skid in which he went 1-3.
Tonight they have the Diamondbacks, one of the worst teams in the sport.
The Diamondbacks could represent an oasis in what is a desert of a schedule for the Mets, who just lost three of four at San Francisco. From Arizona the Mets have four games at Los Angeles, then return home for a brief series against St. Louis before meeting up with Atlanta and Philadelphia.
By the time that stretch is completed we should know just how much of a contender the Mets are really.
At 61-19, Johan Santana has been money in the bank in his career during the second half. The Mets will need to cash a Santana check today against the Giants to avoid being swept and perhaps falling into a free fall.
Santana gave up five hits in seven innings in beating Atlanta last Sunday to prevent a sweep in that series.
Overall, the Mets have lost six of their last seven and eight of their last ten games.
“I feel much better,’’ Santana said. “Hopefully, this second half will be a strong one.’’