Tagged: Johan Santana

Johan in beast mode, Mets back to .500

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.

johan ks.jpg

Series at a glance: Mets @ Marlins

THE New York Mets (2-1) will take on
the Marlins for the first time since they broke our hearts for the
second straight season in a three-game series in Miami this Easter
weekend.

Marlins

florida-marlins-logo.jpgFlorida (3-0) are off to their best start to a season in more than a
decade and they have came out of the block hitting, pitching and
running.

Offensively, they lead the NL in runs (26), batting average (.313) and total bases (59), while on the mound they league the lead in strikeouts (31) and earned runs allowed (11).

From their first series against the awful Nationals, Emilio Bonifacio
is 8/12 for four steals and Jorge Cantu is 4/9 (.444) with a pair of
home runs.

All three starters recorded wins against the Nats and the fish will
continue with their four-man rotation when they host the Mets.

Mets

Ryan Church has started 5/11 with three doubles and Carlos Delgado is 5/12 with a home run and six RBI.

On the mound, their new bullpen duo of JJ Putz and Francisco Rodriguez
have given up a combined one run and one hit in four innings of work,
picking up two holds and two saves.

Matchups

On Good Friday, John Maine will face fellow righty Anibal Sanchez

Maine, who struggled to a 6.65 ERA in the Cactus League, is 2-0 with a 3.22
ERA in four career starts in Florida.

He has pitched well against All Star Hanley Ramirez, who is hitting
just .188 (3/16) against him and Dan Uggla who is 3/15 with seven
strikeouts.

Jeremy Hermida has had the most success against Maine, going 5/11.

On Saturday, former Marlins pitcher Livan Hernandez will face the present-day Florida ace Ricky Nolasco.

According to MLB.com, Hernandez made 70 starts for the fish between
1997 and 1999 at what is now called Dolphin Stadium where he has a 3.86
ERA.

Nolasco was 1-2 in six starts against the Mets last season, but overall he is 2-5 in 11 starts with a 6.27 ERA.

On Opening Day against Washington, Nolasco gave up five runs on six innings with six strikeouts to pick up the win.

Aces

johansantana.jpgThe Mets will finish their series with Johan Santana on the mound against Josh Johnson in what is sure to be a pitchers’ duel.

Johan shut down the Reds on Monday, allowing just one hit but giving up four walks in five innings of work.

He was 3-0 against the Marlins in 2008 with a 1.96 ERA and he is a perfect 5-0 against them lifetime.

Dan Uggla (1/14 with 8 Ks), Hanley Ramirez (2/12) and Jorge Cantu (5/23 with 8 Ks) have all struggled against Johan.

Johnson pitched 6 2/3 shutout innings against the Nationals on
Tuesday, giving up seven hits while striking out eight and walking
none. Johnson was 2-0 with a 3.95 ERA
against last season.

Johnson has given the heart of the Mets lineup huge problems in the
past and David Wright, Carlos Belgado and Carlos Beltran are a combined
2/33. No active Met has hit a home run against Johnson either.

Johan’s secret handshakes

I JUST got sent a link to this video of Johan in the Mets dugout just prior to his first start of the year against the Reds on Opening Day.

Check it out below and let me know what you think.

I know a few other players have similar quirky handshakes with teammates, but let me know if you have any favourites and I will post them up here if I can find them.

Catch you all later tonight for the Mets in Cincinatti.

Santana, Murphy, bullpen see Mets past Reds

THE New York Mets spent money in the offseason to tighten up a bullpen which cost them a trip to the playoffs for each of the past two seasons.

On Monday, it looked like money well spent as JJ Putz and Francisco Rodriguez shut down the Cincinatti Reds to give Mets fans hope that ’09 may just be their year.

The Amazins continued their Opening Day tradition of success by edging a tight pitching duel in Cincinatti 2-1, winning their fourth consecutive Opening Day outing to improve on their league-best record.

Santana pitched 5 2/3 innings of three-hit ball to record his second straight first day victory, and Daniel Murphy went deep for the Mets as they got their season underway on the right note at the Great American Ballpark.

Shaun Green recorded four consecutive outs in his 1 1/3 inning of work and new acquisition JJ Putz worked around a one-out walk to Chris Dickerson to get the ball to closer Francisco Rodriguez who recorded his first save in orange and blue.

Bases loaded

The Mets loaded the bases in the 4th inning on a walk, bloop single and intentional walk, but Harang got Santana to fly out to centre field on the eighth pitch of the at bat – the 85th of the game – to end the inning and keep the score tied.

The Reds got their first hit of the ballgame in the bottom of the 4th inning when Jay Bruce drove a low two-out pitch down and away off the centre field wall for a stand-up double.

Daniel Murphy hit the Mets’ first home run of 2009, driving a 3-2 pitch to right centre field after fouling off a pitch up and away to stay alive the previous offering.

The Mets almost added a second run shortly after, when David Wight and Carlos Delgado hit back-to-back bloops to shallow centre field to bring Carlos Beltran to the plate.

Beltran singled to right field, but Wright got a bad jump from second base and Jay Bruce threw him out on a two-hopper despite bobbling the transfer.

Aaron Harang gave up one run – the solo shot to Murphy – on seven hits, walking three and striking out a pair on 114 pitches through five innings of work.

Difficulties

Harang’s replacement Daniel Ray Herrara fell into immidiate difficulty in the top of the 6th inning.

After Brain Schneider grounded out to lead off the inning, Herrara gave up a double to Luis Castillo and then walked Santana and Reyes.

With the bases loaded, Murphy lined a grounder down the first base line. Joey Votto knocked it down to get the out, but Castillo scored easily from third to make it 2-0.

The Reds started to get something going in the home half of the 6th inning. Darnell McDonald led off the inning with a broken-bat single to left field and Joey Votto singled to right.

Both runners advanced on Church’s throwing error to third base, and only Santana backing up Wright at third stopped McDonald from scoring.

Brandon Phillips hit a 2-2 92mph fastball to left field to drive home McDonald with a sac fly to cut the lead in half, but leftie Jay Bruce popped out to Wright to keep the tying run at second.

That was the final batter Santana would face as Shaun Green came out of the pen to get Edwin Encarnacion to line out to Murphy in left.

Santana threw 99 pitches, 62 for strikes, and he gave up just the one run on three hits and four walks, striking out seven.

Bullpen

Shaun Green pitched a perfect 7th inning for the Mets, getting three ground balls and former Met David Weathers matched him pitch for pitch, getting Castillo, pinch-hitter Marlon Anderson and Reyes on ground ball outs on eight pitches.

JJ Putz walked Chris Dickerson with one out in the eighth, but he got sothpaw Joey Votto and All Star slugger Brandon Phillips to end the threat and keep the one-run lead intact.

K-Rod got Jay Brice on a soft tapper back to themound, Encarnacion on a pop-up and Hernandez to strike out swinging.

Other notes: Ryan Church and Carlos Delgado both went 2/4 and David Wright went 1/3 with two walks. Jose Reyes also stole his first base, taking second in the 1st inning against Aaron Harang.

Happy Birthday, Johan! 30 today


baseball cake.jpgHappy Birthday, Johan Santana! The Mets ace turns 30 today as he prepares for his 10th Major League season.
 
Could Santana help the Mets win it all in 2009? We certainly hope so!
 
Here’s a selection of highlights from Santana’s decade in the majors. Enjoy.
 
At age 29, Santana recorded his 1,500 Major League strikeout by fanning Pedro Feliz in the 4th inning in an 8-6 defeat to the Phillies at Shea.
 
At age 28, Santana hit his first and only triple in a game for the Twins against Florida. He took a Byung Hyung Kim pitch to right-centre to score Nick Punto from 1st.
 
At age 27, Santana won his 2nd Cy Young award, going 19-6 with a 2.77ERA.
 
At age 26, Santana led the American League in strikeouts per 9 innings with 9.25, ahead of the Angels’ John Lackey (8.57)
 
At age 25, Santana had a 20-win season, going 20-6 in 34 starts for the Twins.
 
At age 24, Santana pitches in his 100th Big league game, throwing 1 1/3 innings in relief of Brandon Radke against the White Sox at Comisky Park. Santana gave up one run on one hit – an RBI-double to Frank Thomas – and a walk on 23 pitches.
 
At age 23, Santana records his first ever double-digit strikeout game, fanning 13 Blue Jays in an 8-inning 4-0 shutout. Santana gave up just 2 hits.
 
At age 22, it’s hard to find an interesting Johan statistic! What I can tell you is that he threw his 1,000th career strike against the Oakland As on May 26, 2001. How’s that for research? 🙂
 
At age 21 (21yrs, 21days to be precise) Santana makes his Major League debut against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, pitching a scoreless 9th inning on 14 pitches in an Opening Day 7-0 loss.

LIVE: Johan’s spring debut

Follow Johan Santana’s LIVE spring debut against the Marlins here with me. Match report to follow after the game.

1st Inning

Johan Santana will face Emilio Bonfacio, Cameron Maybin and Jeremy Hermida to lead off the game.

7.09pm:
Johan vs Emilio Bonifacio

Strike 1,  91mph fastball
OUT popup 1B, 90mph fastball

7.12pm
Johan vs Cameron Maybin

Ball 1, 89mph fastball
Strike 1, 81mph changeup
Strike 2, foul, 90mph fastball
OUT Strike 3, 87mph changeup

7.15pm
Johan vs Jeremy Hermida

Ball 1, 92mph fastball
Strike 1, foul, 91mph fastball

Strike 2, 82mph slider
OUT groundball 1B, 82mph changeup


10 pitches, 3-up, 3-down. 0-0
0 hits, 0 walks, 0 runs

  • Mets notes: Daniel Murphy sac fly gives Johan and the Mets a 1-0 lead.

2nd Inning

Johan Santana will face Dan Uggla to lead off the 2nd inning.

7.27pm
Johan vs Dan Uggla

HOME RUN 89mph fastball

7.28
Johan vs Jay Gibbons

Strike 1, 91 mph fastball
Ball 1, 80mph in dirt
Strike 2, 82mph changeup
Ball 2, 82mph
Foulball, 91mph fastball
OUT 92mph fastball, lineout CF

7.30pm
Johan vs Logan Morrison

Hit batter, 88mph fastball

7.31pm
Johan vs Robert Andino

Strike 1, 89mph fastball
Strike 2, 88mph fastball
Ball 1, 91mph fastball
OUT Strikeout, 78mph changeup

7.33pm
Johan vs Mike Rabelo

Ball 1, 87mph fastball
Ball 2, 77mph changeup
Ball 3, 88mph fastball
Strike 1, 88mph fastball
Strike 2, 89mph fastball
OUT popup 3B, 78mph changeup

18 pitches (28 total), 1-1
1 hits, 0 walks, 1 runs

  • Mets notes: Ryan Church lines a lead-off double, but gets stranded at 2B. Still 1-1.

3rd Inning

7.46pm
Johan vs Ricky Nolasco

Strike 1, 89mph fastball
Strike 2, 89mph fastball
SINGLE, 83mph changeup

7.48pm
Johan vs Emilio Bonafacio

Ball 1, 89mph fastball
Ball 2, 88mph fastball
Strike 1, 88mph fastball
Strike 2, 89mph fastball
OUT Fielders’ choice 6-4, 89mph fastball

7.51pm
Johan vs Cameron Maybin

Ball 1, 78mph changeup
Strike 1, 89mph fastball

PICKOFF 1-3-4 Bonafacio out at 2b

Strike 2, 89mph fastball
SINGLE, 90mph fastball

7.54pm
Johan vs Jeremy Hermida

Strike 1, 91mph fastball
Ball 1, 79mph changeup
Ball 2, 90mph fastball
Ball 3, 89mph fastball
Strike 2, 89mph fastball
Foul, 90mph fastball
SINGLE, 91mph fastball. Maybin to 3b, scored on error by CF.

19 pitches (47 total), 3-1 Marlins
2 hits, 0 walks, 2 unearned runs

7.58pm Johan is replaced by Matt Desalvo