If any team needed to come out on top in the Johan Santana sweepstakes, it was the Mets. The Mets barely missed the playoffs last year, losing the NL East by a game to the Phillies, and losing the wild card by one game to the Rockies. The worst part for the Mets was that after starting September with an 8-1 record, they finished 6-13, with 12 of those losses coming to division opponents. A breakdown of those final 19 games shows that the offense was doing their job, putting up an average of 5.63 runs per game. It was the pitching, more specifically the starters, who dropped the ball.
Mets starters averaged a 6.73 ERA during this losing stretch. Their starters put up an ERA under four in just seven starts. They put up an ERA of over 10 just as many times. Their starters during this stretch averaged just five innings, and about four earned runs per start. It’s safe to say that the Mets desperately needed an ace who could put up a solid performance every five days, and preventing their offensive efforts from going to waste.
Enter Johan Santana.