Monday’s opening day results for Johan Santana were certainly in line with his status as an ace: six innings, four hits, two walks, five strikeouts and just one run. He earned the win. But let’s look a little deeper at some of the numbers.
Santana threw 103 pitches in his six innings, 69 for strikes (67 percent). Of those, he only used nine total sliders. Two were to Jorge Cantu, two were to Gaby Sanchez. Otherwise lone lefty Chris Coghlan saw five.
That left Johan working with just his fastball and change for most of the afternoon.
He threw 38 changeups. To tell you what they thought of Dan Uggla and his power hitting, Uggla saw nine changeups and just three fastballs.
Of the 56 fastballs he threw, Santana sat in the 91 mph range, around his career average, dispelling the fears some had in spring training when he was being clocked in the upper 80s.
By throwing a righty dominated lineup at Johan, manager Fredi Gonzalez actually did the Mets ace a favor, allowing him to use his two best pitches and keep his slider use to a minimum.