Saturday, August 18, 2012

Santana Implosion Leads to Mets Loss

Friday, August 17, 2012
Final Score: New York Mets: 4 Washington Nationals: 6
Santana Implosion Leads to Mets Loss

The game got off to a great start for the Mets, who jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, behind Johan Santana.  That lead did not last long, as Santana suffered yet another implosion, leading to an insurmountable four run deficit by the 6th inning.

After retiring the first nine Nationals in order with relative ease, Santana ran into trouble in the fourth inning allowing three consecutive singles to start the inning to Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman.  Michael Morse followed up the three singles with a grand slam homerun, giving the Nationals a 4-2 lead.  Santana was able to retire the next three batters in a row to end the inning, but again ran into trouble in the 5th inning.

Santana surrendered yet another long ball, this time giving up a two-run homerun to Harper.  This lengthened the Nationals lead to 6-2, putting the Mets in a deeper hole.  Santana was able to finish the inning, which ended up being his last of the night.

Santana’s stat line was underwhelming once again, the only positive being that he did not walk a batter.  He ended up throwing five innings, allowing six earned runs on seven hits and striking out four.

Santana became the first pitcher in Mets franchise history to allow six-plus earned runs in five consecutive starts and the first major league pitcher to allow that many runs in the same span since Mike Hampton, whose futility spanned from 2001 and 2002. 

The loss dropped Santana’s record to 6-9, the lowest he has been under .500 in his career in a single season.  In 2006 Santana opened the season with three straight losing decisions, but rebounded nicely finishing the season with a 19-6 record. 

Santana has been awful since throwing the no-hitter on June 1st, compiling an 8.27 ERA, allowing 68 hits, 13 of which were homeruns, in just 49 innings.  Because of these struggles, the Mets need to really look into possibly shutting Santana down for the remainder of the season or doing something more radical than moving to a six-man rotation. 

Santana is owed $31 million dollars next season including a 2014 contract buyout, so the Mets need to act in whatever fashion they see being the best for the team, as Santana could potentially account for  one-third of the Mets payroll.

The Mets had to deal with yet another uniform infraction Friday night, as Santana was forced to cover up the gold logo on his glove two nights after R.A. Dickey was forced to cut the bracelets off his wrist.  Nationals’ manager Davey Johnson said the lights were making a glare off the logo that was bothering him and getting in his eyes.  He then asked the umpire to take a look at the glove and cover the logo, even though none of his players had complained; only he had.

There were some highlights for the Mets tonight, as Kelly Shoppach launched a solo homerun in the 7th inning after going hitless in his first five at-bats as a Met.  Scott Hairston was able to tie a franchise record by hitting three doubles in the game and David Wright added two more hits to his numbers.

The Mets will look to avoid dropping to a season high eight games under .500 Saturday night behind Jon Niese (9-6, 3.67 ERA) against the Nationals’ Edwin Jackson (7-7, 3.47 ERA).

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