Yes it was just a win, but let's face it folks, it was also more than just a win. After weeks of speculation and frustration the Mets needed a shot in the arm and a distraction from all of the distractions.
They needed a win; the fans needed a win; the owners needed a win; the GM needed a win; and most of all, the manager needed a win.
Thankfully the Mets have an ace, a real throw him out there every 5 days and have a great chance to win ace. He didn't disappoint.
Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E Florida 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 3 9 1 N.Y. Mets « 3 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 x 5 9 1
Johan Santana pitched 7 strong innings to lead the Mets past the first-place Florida Marlins. He walked 2, gave up 8 hits and 3 runs, surrendered yet another homerun, but also struck out 7 and pitched his heart out.
Santana is tough because he doesn't give in to the hitters. He battles every pitch with a singular focus that reminds me of Tom Seaver and Greg Maddux, and truth be told he is something of a combination of the two, albeit from the other side of the pitching rubber.
Johan is now 6-3 and poised, at just shy of the 1/3 mark on the year, to win 18-20 games. In other words he has been everything the Mets needed when they signed him to be their stopper.
"That's what Johan does," Wright said. "He's a tremendous stopper. We're facing a little bit of adversity. It's good to get a win under your belt so you can take a deep breath, relax a little bit. Just get back to what the goal is and get away from some of these distractions. We needed some positive energy going through the clubhouse and Johan gave that to us tonight."
"Santana, he's a guy that we look for to stop the bleeding, and he did that tonight," Randolph said. "He's been pitching relatively well for us. I think he'll get better as the season goes on. That's what he's paid to do: come in and just get us a win so we can get going in the right direction."
"Every pitch I throw with a purpose to get people out," Santana said. "I was able to throw the right pitch at the right time. When you struggle, it's how you battle yourself out of the struggle."
There are a lot of great Sanatana articles this morning:
LoHud writes about his stopping powers.
The Daily News says Santana aces his gut check.
Is it me, or are you starting to feel like Jose Reyes is about to really start dominating games? Yes he is in a bit of a fielding funk, but he's also making some incredible plays out there and saving runs.
At the plate, Jose has been pretty sensational in May, with a .303 batting average, .360 OBP, and a stellar .525 slugging percentage.
Reyes looks like the 18 HR, 81 RBI guy of 2006 right now, and he has gotten on base in 27 straight games.
Billy Wagner had a dominant 9th...he is having a remarkable season. Wags on Wags can be found here.
How about the bench last night?
Fernando Tatis continues to provide a nice little shot in the arm (that was me doing Willie-speak), and had two hits last night, including a big two-out single to rightfield. Tatis is now batting .429 and looks positively rejuvenated. He is a solid guy to have on your bench and a professional hitter.
Ramon Castro can hit....the guy can flat out hit. I love Brian Schneider and want to see him out there 70% of the time. That said, when Castro is in, I always have good feelings when he is at the dish.
"The bench guys did an outstanding job," Randolph said. "Tatis got a couple of big hits, Castro a big two-out hit, which is huge when you're scuffling to score. It gives you momentum. Easley with a big sac fly. We need to pick each other up like that."
Damian Easley also had an RBI. Easley has looked awful at the plate this year, but coming back from injury, with his age, you figured him for a cold start and a hot finish. I thought he did a nice job at first base and looks like he can handle the spot start duties that will come with increased rest for Carlos Delgado.
Speaking of which...is it a coincidence that Delgado sat last night so soon after the Mets big meeting of the minds? I'm of the opinion that one of the outcomes of the meeting was to put Delgado on 2/3rds time. Let's hope it helps on many levels.
Here's the NY Post on the super-subs.
Some quick hits:
- Santana doubled in the fourth. Four of his five hits this year are doubles, the most doubles by a Mets pitcher in one season since Rick Reed hit five in 1997.
- Randolph rested slumping 1B Carlos Delgado, hoping to help clear his head, and said he might do so again Wednesday night against LHP Scott Olsen.
- Reyes extended his hitting streak to 12 games. He has reached base safely in 27 straight games.
- Beltran has reached safely in 30 consecutive starts.
- Church missed his seventh straight start with a concussion. After being examined by a neurologist and undergoing an MRI exam earlier in the day, he was sent home to rest and told to avoid bright lights.
- New York RHP Pedro Martinez (hamstring) is likely to rejoin the rotation early next week in San Francisco. He's slated to make a rehab start Wednesday night for Class-A St. Lucie.
Let's see if the momentum we've all wanted is coming, or if this was just another tease in a season on the brink.
Enjoy your coffee!