“I knew coming in this would be [my] most important game as a Met, because I knew the situation we were in,” Santana said. “I was giving everything I had. It’s tough to lose a game like that. But there’s nothing else you can do but sit down and hope these guys can get it done.”
Apparently, it takes more than hope.
For the ninth consecutive start, the Mets failed to capitalize on a solid performance by Johan. Not his best, mind you. But certainly good enough to warrant a win. Instead, Santana was dealt another ND in a season where he should already be approaching 18 wins.
Yes, I mean that. Eighteen wins in July. Really.
Of all of Johan’s starts this season, only six or so have been mediocre, and of those, only three or four have been true clunkers. The rest of the season, he’s ranged from good, to outstanding, to nearly unhittable. And he seemingly always leaves the Mets in a position to win ballgames despite some of the worst run support in modern Mets history.
Though I’ll never agree with the kind of money he gets to play once every five games, based on the current MLB payscale, he’s earning his keep.
The Mets should really look at Johan as more of an investment. Would you buy a Bentley, then neglect to get it an oil change? Well, right now the Mets are pushing their Bentley to its limits every few days, only to let it get manhandled by the Kias who pull into the driveway afterwards.
As the NY Post said this morning, the Mets’ 8-6 loss to the Phillies was a microcosm of their season - and Johan’s as well. A great effort was blown right out of the water by shoddy fielding, poor baserunning, and a bullpen performance so pathetic, that it woke the ghosts of Benitez, Looper, Sosa and Mota. More frighteningly, it also evoked memories of Johan’s other wasted efforts in a Mets uniform.
The Mets bullpen owes Santana a few rounds at the bar, to say the least. As does Jerry Manuel, who inexplicably pulled Johan after eight, even though he was still hitting his spots, and had a relatively low pitch count of 105. Jerry — stubborn bugger that he is — continues to defend the decision to anyone that asks. But deep down, you know he’s kicking his own **** for this one.
In order for Johan Santana to help get the team some wins, they have to return the favor and help him get a few as well. The best way to do this would be to give him consistent run support, and maybe — just maybe — not blow leads out their **** like they did last night.
And an apology or two wouldn’t hurt, either.