Johan Santana doesn't make All-Star team; that's OK with Terry Collins

Johan Santana lets out a yell after Dee

Johan Santana lets out a yell after Dee Gordon (not pictured) grounds out to end the eighth inning. (June 30, 2012) (Credit: AP)

LOS ANGELES -- Johan Santana did not join R.A. Dickey and David Wright as Mets who made the National League All-Star team when the rosters were announced Sunday.

That (sort of) made his manager a little happy.

Terry Collins thinks Santana was deserving of a spot, but he isn't upset that the lefthander will get to rest during the All-Star break.

"I saw the names of the pitchers run across that screen this morning and I said, 'Wow, there's a lot of guys doing pretty well,' " Collins said. "For me, I guess I'm a little selfish. And I hope he enjoys the break and rests up a little bit because we've got a big second half to go."

Santana improved to 6-4 with a 2.76 ERA Saturday with eight shutout innings against the Dodgers in a 5-0 Mets win. He has one more start before the break -- Friday against the Cubs at Citi Field -- in what has been a remarkable comeback campaign from a season off after serious shoulder surgery.

As for Santana pitching in the All-Star Game if he had made the NL's 13-man staff, Collins said: "It would have been his call. He probably could have -- due to the fact that he's set up to pitch a side or something anyway -- he could have thrown an inning."

That Santana already has thrown 98 innings this season is one of the great success stories in baseball. He just finished a month in which he went 4-2 with a 2.77 ERA, starting with his June 1 no-hitter against the Cardinals.

"It's been good," Santana said. "I'm very happy the way everything went. A couple of tough games, but the good thing is that I feel good, that I'm still competing. At this point, we're still working and feeling good. That's the key for me. Definitely, I'm very happy."

Of the All-Star Game, Santana had said Saturday: "If I get the call, that'd be great. If not, I'll rest and get ready to start over again."

Santana's re-emergence has been something to watch for Collins.

"I had never seen Johan Santana throw a pitch live until this year. So I didn't know what to expect,'' Collins said. "And I was sitting in the dugout [Saturday] watching him, and he was really starting to get his stuff working. Dan Warthen said to me, 'Can you imagine him when he was 95 and 96 miles per hour?' I can't. I can't even believe how good he was, because he's real good right now."

Collins said he expects Santana to start the first game after the break on July 13 at Atlanta, with Dickey going the next day.

Before allowing a run in the first inning of Sunday night's series finale at Dodger Stadium, the Mets had not given up a run in 23 innings. It was their fourth scoreless streak of at least 20 innings this year. They have thrown 10 shutouts, which was tied for the major-league lead with the Giants and Angels. They had six shutouts in June, their most in a calendar month since September 1969, when they had 10. "I've never seen anything like this," Collins said. "But we'll take it."

Notes & quotes: Lucas Duda was the only lefthanded hitter to start against Clayton Kershaw Sunday night. Kershaw had held lefthanded batters to a .209 average but had allowed four home runs in 67 at-bats . . . The Mets will host postgame fireworks when they return home Tuesdaynight against the Phillies.

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