Johan Santana made his first start of spring training today against the Houston Astros, and lets just say that it wasn’t what fans wanted to see. Johan gave up a home run to former Met Kaz Matsui with only one out. After Matsui hit a homer, Geoff Blum hit a double off of Santana. Finally, Jerry Manuel decided to take his out after an inning and two thirds and replaced him with Jack Egbert. Johan only had one strikeout, he walked Kaz Matsui in his next at-bat, and gave up 4 runs and six hits. Thats not the Johan we usually see out there on the mound. Ultimately, the Mets lost today 8 to 4 against the Astros.
I understand that its only been Johan’s first start, but i am alittle worried about him right now. If he continues to pitch like this, which i don’t believe will be the case, I would start to panic a bit. But, i do however feel confident that Johan will bounce back when he makes his next scheduled start. We all know how Johan Santana is. We should know by now that he can bounce back because of this type of outing. Remember in 08 near the end of the season, the Mets were still in the playoff hunt and after a bad outing, Santana pitches a stellar game against the Marlins (which could have gotten them into the playoffs if it wasn’t for Ryan Braun and the Brew Crew)!? Just an example of how good Santana is. He has his off days and then the next time he goes out to the mound, he throws some great games!
But according to manager Jerry Manuel, Johan passed the test. Although mechanics were an issue today, Santana’s arm wasn’t. That was apparently the ultimate goal today the Mets had for Johan. Santana said after his start today:
"I didn’t feel anything with the arm. I was able to throw all my pitches"
To see the box score from Santana’s start, go here.