"Was that the 20-inning game?" Jerry Manuel asked earlier tonight about Johan Santana's previous game.

          Yes, so many events happened in St. Louis Saturday that it was easy to forget that Santana was superb with seven shutout innings. What the manager did recall was that Santana looked like Santana, not just a guy coming off a big injury.

          "Yeah, I feel very, very confident when he takes the ball, that we have a chance to win," Manuel said before tonight's game.

           If only he could feel very, very confident that the Mets could score a run. Through his seven innings in St. Louis and through his first six innings here tonight, the composite score is Opponents-0, Mets-0.

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           He struck out the side against the Cubs in the sixth, and now the Mets have the top of the order coming up.