Johan Santana was taking the hill for the first time last night since he no-hit the Cardinals at Citi Field. As a precaution, Terry Collins held out his ace for a week since he threw 134 pitches in his last start, more pitches than he has ever thrown in a Major League game. The Mets skipper said in his post-game press conference that they aired on the side of caution for Santana’s arm, and the extra rest cost them last night’s ball game. He looked very rusty as the Mets almost got no-hit themselves by Hiroki Kuroda.
Mets Offensive Highlights:
There really wasn’t many offensive highlights from the Mets last night, only mustering one run and two hits off. However, their offense was definitely offensive. Terry Collins decided to use Lucas Duda at the DH position, while mixing up the lineup by putting Josh Thole in the two-hole and Jason Bay in the eight-hole. None of it worked last night, as Duda and Omar Quintanillawere the only two Mets players to register a hit, with the first one not even coming until the sixth inning. The shut out was broken up in the ninth after a walk to both Quintanilla and Thole before Duda doubled to left with two outs.
Yankees Offensive Highlights:
The Bronx Bomber lineup has been coming together the last couple of weeks, and the piece of that Joe Girardi was waiting for was Robinson Cano, who hit two home runs off of Santana. Nick Swisher and Andruw Jones both got in on the act with homers of their own. Most of the scoring happened in the second and third innings. Alex Rodriguez walked to start the second, then Cano followed with his first home run of the night to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead. After Santana got two outs in the third, A-Rod singled, followed by another Cano home run, then Swisher and Jones went back-to-back-to-back to extend the lead to 6-0. The last bit of scoring happened in the seventh; Curtis Granderson walked, followed by a Mark Teixeira double, which led to a sacrifice fly by A-Rod. Swisher and Jones both registered run-scoring hits to extend the lead to 9-0, out of reach for the Mets.
Last night was not Johan Santana’s night, as getting a week off didn’t help. Either way, he didn’t make pitches in his five innings of work, continuing his bad track record at the new Yankee Stadium. Collins said his ace would have no real pitch limit, and he threw 86 pitches in five innings, giving up seven hits (four homers), six runs, one walk, and five strikeouts. Elvin Ramirez threw 1.2 innings behind Santana and give up three more runs to balloon his ERA up to 13.50. Jon Rauch made his return to the field with a scoreless inning in the ninth.
Hiroki Kuroda was masterful in his third straight quality start, and he’s beginning to show the Yankees that he is worth that $10 million contract they signed him to. The former Dodger went seven scoreless innings while only giving up one hit and one walk while striking out seven. The Amazins got their only run off one of their former relievers, Ryota Igarashi, in the ninth inning, and he continues his road to excellence as his ERA is 22.50 in three appearances for the Yankees.
Even though Santana did not pitch well by any means last night, he did pitch, which was Collins’ biggest concern. What’s good for the Mets is that he’s healthy and will continue to take the ball every fifth day. Also, the appearance and effectiveness of Jon Rauch was very encouraging, as he and his tender right elbow were able to miss a trip to the disabled list. Oh yea, and Ike Davis went o-for-3 with two strikeouts and is now hitting .158 on the season.
The Yankees were waiting for Robinson Cano to break out, and he couldn’t have done it any better and on a bigger stage, hitting two homers and driving in four runs.
Probable pitchers today:
Dillon Gee (4-3, 4.48 ERA) will head to the mound tonight to even up the Subway Series for the Mets. Gee has been pitching well of late, but will be opposing Phil Hughes (5-5, 4.96 ERA), coming off his first-ever complete game. First pitch is scheduled for 7:15pm.