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Jim Kaat: Santana's bad start product of extra rest

Johan Santana #57 of the New York Mets

Johan Santana #57 of the New York Mets looks on in the second inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. (June 8, 2012) Credit: Jim McIsaac

Jim Kaat, on-air with Bob Costas on MLB Network during the Yankees' 9-1 win over the Mets last night, discussed what he thought went wrong with Johan Santana in his first start after throwing a no-hitter.

"Santana's mistakes are the downside of extra rest," Kaat said, referring to the seven-day layoff for the Mets ace between starts. "Talking to Terry Collins about the sensitivity of a pitcher like Santana coming off shoulder surgery, you want to be overprotective and you give him that extra day's rest because you're fearful of an injury. But he's not as sharp tonight."

Kaat also spoke about the mentality of a staff ace like Santana.

"If you got Santanas and Sabathias and most of the veteran pitchers in a room, they would prefer to pitch more often," Kaat said. "But organizations are hesitant to do it because of the pressure from agents and the lucrative contracts and the fear of injuries, yet I think we see more injuries by [pitchers] throwing fewer pitches and having more rest."

While Santana struggled, Yankees starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda was dominant, allowing one hit and no runs over seven innings.

"He made it look easy tonight," Kaat said. He's "got a variety of pitches, and he could throw that fastball inside enough and take the baseball off the fat of the bat."

Kaat pitched in the majors for 25 years, and finished with a 283-237 record. Kaat was also named to three All-Star games, and won 16 consecutive Gold Gloves from 1962-77.

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