Johan Santana is pitching tonight for the Mets against Atlanta, and if the trend continues he’ll get two runs and win. The Mets, going for their eighth straight victory, just can’t score for Santana, giving him a dozen runs in his six starts.
Why can’t the Mets score for Santana? It’s as if they think “all we need is a couple because they won’t score against him.” Not a good mindset to have.
The Mets are on a good roll, but they have to maintain. They can’t afford to let up, especially against the Braves, who have a way of putting the Mets in their place.
The best pitcher in the sport will try to extend the Mets’ winning streak to three games tonight against the Phillies. Johan Santana could easily be 5-0 with a little more support.
Interesting changes in the line-up, beginning with Daniel Murphy batting sixth behind David Wright because Alex Cora gets the start at second. Ryan Church, who is in a dreadful slump and hitting .143 with RISP in on the bench.
Here’s the line-up:
Jose Reyes, SS
Alex Cora, 2B
Carlos Beltran, CF
Carlos Delgado, 1B
David Wright, 3B
Daniel Murphy, LF
Jeremy Reed, RF
Omir Santos, C
Johan Santana, P
The assumption is Johan Santana will pitch well and the Mets should beat the Washington Nationals tonight. That’s always the assumption when the best pitcher in the major leagues faces its worst team.
The Mets come limping back into town losers of four straight games, the last three in St. Louis. The common denominator in the four games was the inability to hit with runners in scoring position and bad starting pitching. The only decent start came last Sunday against Milwaukee by Nelson Figueroa and he’s no longer in the organization.
As a stopper, Santana is expected to pitch well, but let’s not assume all is well with your heroes even should he throw a shutout.
Even should they sweep the Nationals, it won’t mean all is well. They need to go through the rotation two, three times getting solid starts to allay those concerns.
What we have with the 6-9 Mets is a developing trend. It obviously can’t continue at this rate, but even so, that’s still too small a sample to assume they should write off the season.
We begin with the news Mike Pelfrey will miss his start tomorrow and Luis Castillo will bat second. That’s because Daniel Murphy will sit in favor of Gary Sheffield in left. Murphy was going to get a rest anyway, so this isn’t about rewarding Castillo for last night.
Johan Santana on the mound for the boys. It’s nice to have your ace going. I was thinking about that last night after Ryan Braun homered to give Milwaukee a brief lead. They lose this, and with Figueroa likely going Sunday, then Santana would be their only chance to win.
A lot of things stand out about Opening Day, but two in particular are important to me.
The first is the effort by Sean Green who finished for Johan Santana and worked the seventh. We’re optimistic about JJ Putz and Francisco Rodriguez on the back end, but the bridge to them was an issue. If you go by the weakest link in the chain theory, then there were none yesterday.
It will be interesting to see how Jerry Manuel juggles the back end when he wants to give K-Rod or Putz a day off. Having confidence in a guy like Green makes it all the more easier.
What I didn’t like yesterday was how the Mets hit with RISP. That’s been an on-going problem the last two years. It’s only one game and the weather yesterday was horrible, but another hit or two and the game was a blowout. Playing with a lead is always easier and you know there will be games when the pitching gives it up and it’s not Santana on the mound.