IF Oliver Perez is a riddle locked in a conundrum, Johan Santana is a beast wrapped around a machine.
The Mets ace dominated once again on Wednesday night at home to the Phillies, throwing seven innings of shutout ball and fanning ten on his way to recording his fourth win of the 2009 campaign.
The Mets have won three straight for the first time this year and another Cy Young performance from New York’s favourite leftie meant they are back to .500 for the first time in three weeks at 13-13.
Wednesday night though was all about the pitching.
Johan improved to 4-1 on the season through six starts, lowering his miniscule ERA to an equally-small 0.91.
He has given up just four earned runs in 39 2/3 innings and with 24 hits and 14 walks, his whip is below 1.00.
On top of this is 54 strikeouts, the most he has had over a half dozen-game span since 2006 when he had double-digits Ks in four out of five straight matches.
He leads the league with Zack Greinke for punchouts and only the Royals’ pitcher has a better ERA after the first five weeks of play.
If Johan had a little bit more run support – the Mets are giving him a league-worst 2.12 runs per game – he could easily be a perfect 6-0 right now.
In fact, he has started where he left off at the end of 2008, when he went 6-0 with a 1.63ERA over his last nine starts.
But the last time Johan was really this dominant was in June and July 2007 when he allowed six earned runs in six starts for the Twins. The last time he allowed four earned runs in six games was back in August and September 2006.
Here’s the updated K-board…One for each of Johan’s strikeouts this season after the Mets top brass stopped fans hanging K-cards in the outfield.
To find out all about it, click here.