The Mets lost the opener of today's day-night doubleheader, and it was a similar storyline: They didn't win a Johan Santana start. That's five of Santana's last six starts in which that has occurred, and in that period, he has allowed seven earned runs over 43.1 innings pitched, a 1.45 ERA.
"It’s just part of the game," Santana said afterwards. "There’s not much I can do. I just have to stay focused and do my job and pitch. That’s the best I can do. At some point, everything will turn around and we’ll start scoring runs."
Of course, today, the Mets actually gave Santana a lead, when his catcher Henry Blanco hit a two-run homer in the second. But Santana clearly didn't have his best stuff - he felt his seven days of rest hurt his cause - and he struck out only one while walking four.
Jerry Manuel blamed Santana's odd streak on his being matched up with other team's aces. resulting in low-scoring Mets losses. Is that accurate? Let's take a look:
1) May 13, at Florida: Josh Johnson. Yes, that would be the other team's ace.
2) May 18, at Atlanta: Kris Medlen. No. Although Medlen has pitched well.
3) May 23, vs. the Yankees: CC Sabathia. Yes, at least in name. Sabathia has had a rough stretch, however, and the Mets and Santana beat him.
4) May 28, at Milwaukee: Yovani Gallardo. Yes.
5) June 2, at San Diego: Clayton Richard. Yes.
6) Today, vs. San Diego: Mat Latos. No, although he has pitched well.
So there's some truth to what Manuel is saying, and today marked the only start in this stretch in which Santana wasn't outstanding. But who's to say these matchups won't continue all year?
--Lady Gaga caused a stir today by showing up at the Mets game, then getting extremely angry when the media wanted to take photos of her - even though she was wearing a bikni and a leather jacket. That's usually how I dress when I'm trying to blend in.
--Bad news for the Red Sox, as Jacoby Ellsbury has suffered a new rib injury on top of his old rib injury and won't be returning to action any time soon.
--Joe Girardi and Charlie Manuel announced their All-Star coaches.
--Jeff Suppan appears headed back to the Cardinals. It'll be interesting to see if St. Louis pitching coach can salvage Suppan, who gave the Brewers just one of four seasons in which he ranked above the league average in ERA+.
--The tension between White Sox GM Kenny Williams and manager Ozzie Guillen has heightened, and owner Jerry Reinsdorf addressed that dynamic in a good interview with MLB.com. Reinsdorf tends to be extremely loyal to the people he hires, and Guillen and Williams both tend to create drama, so I'll believe this power duo is breaking up only when the breakup is official, and not a moment sooner.
--Good piece by MLB.com's Barry Bloom on Brandon Webb, Chris Young and Erik Bedard and their respective shoulder problems. Shoulders are really tricky, far worse then elbows.