Santana Exits Early, Mets Lose 4-2

He carried the Mets to the brink five days ago following a brilliant 125 pitch outing with an even more heroic 3 hit shutout on only 3 days rest but last night in Game 2 of the Division Series, Johan Santana had finally shot his wad.

Exiting the game for a pinch hitter in the 5th Santana had given up 4 earned runs, walking a career high 6 batters and worse still, complaining of left knee pain which is rumoured to be a possible torn meniscus.

Pain was the name of the game last night

"I was going for it," Santana said afterwards, clearly as dejected as the rest of his team. "We worked really hard between this start and the last one to make sure my arm, my legs, everything was in place. But this time, it was simply too much"

The pain clearly effected his delivery, hence his difficulty finding the strike zone.

The Cubs, desperate for a win, took advantage in the 2nd inning when a walk to Geovany Soto was followed by a Jim Edmonds double. With two outs and men on 2nd and 3rd, Theriot was intentionally and foolishly walked to get to winning pitcher Carlos Zambrano, a .337 hitter, who drew a run-scoring, 11 pitch walk. Santana then unleahed a wild pitch, scoring Edmonds.

He composed himself but with the Mets flailing at Zambrano's pitches, the Cubs struck again in the bottom of the 4th when Edmonds doubled again to lead off and Mark DeRosa hammered the next pitch into the bleachers to make it 4-0.

The Mets scratched out a lone run in reply in the 5th when Evans, pinch hitting for Santana, doubled with none out, Reyes sacrificed him to 3rd and he scored on a DeRosa error of a Carlos Beltran grounder. But one pitch later, Beltran was then picked off first and the rally fizzled.

In the 8th, still down 4-1, Beltran led off with a single and was driven home by Carlos Delgado's double to cut the lead to 2. Typically, with none out and the tying run at the plate, the rally died in its tracks. David Wright popped a weak fly to center. The Magical Murph singled but Luis Aguayo, scared of his own shadow, forced Delgado to hold at 3rd. Murph was caught stealing and Castro flew out to end the inning.

They even fought back once more in the 9th when, with Zambrano tiring, Ryan Church and Martinez led off with back to back singles to put the lead run at the plate.

But guess what? Kerry Wood came in and the Mets went down without another peep.

"We got to have an optimistic mind-set," Wright, who was 0-3, said. "That the glass is half-full." he reassured himself.

Fat Lou doesn't care. At least his Cubbies aren't heading to Shea down 2 games to none.

Whilst to a man the Mets were happy to come out of Wrigley with one win and a chance to clinch at Shea, they are understandably disheartened by the potential loss of Santana.

"We have to look at this with half-full, rose coloured glasses," Wright elaborated afterwards. "We are only thinking of this one step at a time. Just like the Cubs only put on pants one leg at a time and the time is now."


jdon said...

Damn you Santana!

jdon said...

More on Reyes. I have no gripe with his production. For a shortstop it is exceptional. But let me ask: in the last 10 years, have any of the World Series teams (not just winners)sported a talent like Reyes? I mean, David Eckstein has been the SS on 2 WS winners in the last 8 years. My point is you do not need a Reyes to get there. And a Reyes might bring you several useful players who might help you get there. Statistics are fine, but when you get to the end of the season and you have to win the games you have to win, you need a player with a certain mindset. Someone with a strong mental approach. I am not sure Jose has that. He could help us get players who might have a little less talent, but possess the kind of qualities we need. I always laugh when people say that our offense fizzles without Reyes. How do other teams score 750-800 runs a year. They don't have Jose Reyes on their teams. Get a guy with a good OBP at the top of the order. It really is as simple as that, and it is not that hard to find someone who can get you a better OBP than Jose. Who are the superstars in the post season this year? Ryan Howard? Ryan Braun? Prince Fielder? Evan Longoria? Manny? Derek Lee? Aramis Ramirez? Ortiz? Youkilis? Guerrero? On and on and no Reyes or Reyes clone in sight. I would rather have 3 solid players than 1 Jose.
Guys who are mentally tough but run a little slower. I can live with more walks and fewer triples. sStolen bases are overrated. Timely hitting is better than gaudy statistics. We were second in runs scored but terrible with RISP. It is madness. And Omar is in the middle of it.

Jaap said...

I'm all for trading Reyes if we get two good players in return. It's not healthy that the Mets rely so heavily on him to score - imagine if he got injured -there's no depth for a lead off hitter to replace him. If we could get two out of the follwing from the Twins, Scott Baker, Joe Nathan, Kevin Slowey, 1B Randy Ruiz, closer Bobby Korecky or catcher Jose Morales I'd do it. (the last 3 played AAA last season)-Ideally, Baker and Ruiz (blocked from 1b by Morneau) might be worth it.

Jaap said...

by the way, how many millions did K-rod cost himself last night? I'd like to get D Lowe, Shouse from Milwaukee and maybe Fuentes and/or Beimal from Pitt or David Weathers, all free agent pen help.

jdon said...

I just don't think we necessarily need a flashy, gaudy, dumb stat hound. If he started to play smarter and did not act like a prima donna, and did not infuriate very team in the league against us (we are not tough enough to handle that), I could change my mind. I would want at least one experienced, tough minded guy and maybe a prospect and a short term good major leaguer. But I would take Nathan and a prospect for sure. Nathan is young and a stud.