Sunday, August 12, 2012

Johan Santana Rocked in Return From DL

Saturday August 11th, 2012
Final Score: Atlanta Braves: 9 New York Mets: 3
Santana Rocked in Return from DL

Johan Santana wishes he could be back making rehab starts in the minor leagues after getting hammered by the Braves Saturday night, resulting in a 9-3 Mets defeat.  The Mets dropped six games under .500 for the first time all season, giving them the worst record they have had all season and falling further and further behind in the playoff races.

Santana’s return off the DL did not go as planned for the Mets.  He matched the shortest start of his career, lasting only 1 1/3 innings and giving up eight earned runs.  This was the second time this season that Santana was pulled after 1 1/3 innings against the Braves; the first occurrence was April 17th at Turner Field.

Santana’s final stat line for the night was 1 1/3 innings pitched, eight hits, eight runs, one walks and two strikeouts. 

Santana joined Al Leiter in 1999 and Pedro Astacio in 2002 as the only Mets pitchers in franchise history to surrender six plus runs in four straight starts.  In those four starts, Santana has allowed 27 earned runs on 36 hits and six walks in only 14 innings.

Since throwing the first no-hitter in Mets history, Santana has been off his game.  Fatigue in his shoulder after throwing a career high 134 pitches could be the culprit, but no matter what the reason Santana has not been producing.  He has pitched to a 7.98 ERA with a .328 opponents batting average. 

Jeremy Hefner was strong in his relief of Santana after allowing Freddie Freeman to launch a homerun to center field past the apple.  Hefner went 3 2/3 innings after, scattering three hits.  It was a much needed performance for Hefner who was spared a demotion only because Garrett Olson was designated for assignment.

Manny Acosta, Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco combined to finish the last four innings of the game, giving up only one hit and striking out six Braves.

Kris Medlen had a strong performance for the Braves, limiting the Mets to only one run and five hits in 6 1/3 innings. 

Ruben Tejada lost his hitting streak Friday night against the Braves, but got right back in the hit column with two more Saturday night.  Andres Torres had another nice night at the plate, going 2 for 4 with an RBI.  David Wright added an RBI of his own in the 8th inning as well.

The series between the Mets and Braves will end Sunday on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.  Jon Niese (8-6, 3.82 ERA) will take the mound against Ben Sheets (4-1, 1.41 ERA). 

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