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Johan Gets Lots of Support

Mike SteffanosSaturday, May 10, 2008
By Mike Steffanos

Game 33: Mets 12 - Reds 6

Johan Santana left his two starts with the lead, but the bullpen cost him the victory both times. Today the Mets rewarded a gritty if not particularly awe-inspiring performance from their ace with enough runs to ensure his fourth victory. Still, for a while it wasn't easy.

Staked to leads of 4-0 and 6-1, Santana needed 38 pitches to negotiate the sixth inning. The Reds touched him up for 2 runs on a triple and 3 singles, and brought Corey Patterson to the plate as the tying run with 2 on and 2 out. Santana's struck him out on a 2-2 changeup.

The 10 hits allowed by Santana equaled his career high. That's two straight performances where he allowed more than his share of baserunners but gave his team a chance to win. In 12 innings in his 2 May starts he has allowed 21 men to reach base via hits and walks, but only 4 of them scored.

For the offense, it was the second consecutive 12-run performance. Reyes and Castillo both went 0-4 to continue their struggles, but David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado and Brian Schneider all had big days.

After a good game to start the previous road trip in Arizona, Wright slogged through a 2-21 stretch the remainder of the trip. He bounced back with a solid 2-3 with a pair of walks.

I was particularly impressed with an at bat in the sixth. After the Reds scored twice in Santana's final inning to close the game to 6-3, the Mets started the inning with men on second and third, no outs. Bad at bats by Damion Easley and Castillo sandwiched around a Reyes walk brought up Wright with bases loaded and 2 outs. If the Reds could have escaped that thread they would have had momentum in a game that was still within reach. We've seen Wright over anxious in these spots, chasing pitches and getting himself out. Instead he worked a patient walk.

Beltran was up next, looking for a fastball from a pitcher who had just walked in a run. He got it, tripled in all 3 baserunners, and the Mets had breathing room. According to Gary Cohen, it was his first hit with men in scoring position and 2 out. I believe he had been 0-19 before that hit. Also, after only driving in 16 runs in the first 32 games, Beltran had 5 RBI total this afternoon.

Delgado was 3-4 with a double and a home run after being dropped to seventh in the order. Schneider followed Delgado's seventh inning homer with one of his own -- his first extra base hit in 69 AB on the season.

Another game tonight. It will be interesting to see if the Mets can build on this performance.

View Johan Santana's Full Season Stats

Box Score

Comments (1)

I'm loving how Willie is sticking to the drop of Delgado in the lineup. It's paid dividends for 2 straight games.

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