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Johan Santana dominates Padres for first shutout since 2010

May 26, 2012, 4:00 PM EDT

Johan Santana Getty Getty Images

It’s safe to say that Johan Santana is back.

In an effort which was both dominant and efficient, Santana tossed a four hit-shutout this afternoon at Citi Field as part of a 9-0 victory over the light-hitting Padres. All four hits he gave up were singles and he threw 74 out of 96 pitches for strikes. He struck out seven and didn’t issue a walk.

Santana has been the victim of low run support this season, but that wasn’t an issue for him today. The Mets scored four runs off Clayton Richard in the first inning on homers from Scott Hairston and Vinny Rottino and tacked on five more in the ninth inning against former Met Dale Thayer, including a grand slam by Mike Nickeas.

This was the ninth shutout of Santana’s career and his first since August 10, 2010 against the Rockies. Sure, the Padres are one of the worst offensive teams in the sport, but today’s outing was an important benchmark for someone who missed all of last season while rehabbing from shoulder surgery. The 33-year-old southpaw hadn’t lasted longer than seven innings in any of his previous nine starts this year.

While Santana’s velocity isn’t what it was prior to surgery, he has an outstanding 2.75 ERA and 60/16 K/BB ratio over 59 innings this season. That’ll work.

  1. icanspeel - May 26, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    I watched the game and he would have shut down most MLB teams today with the way he was pitching. He was always getting ahead of the hitter and not just pitching strikes but was hitting his spots and the corner of the strike zone all day.

  2. dondada10 - May 26, 2012 at 4:58 PM

    Johan Santana throws a Maddux.

    • natstowngreg - May 26, 2012 at 5:50 PM

      Indeed. Remarkable, considering all he has endured.

    • Lukehart80 - May 26, 2012 at 6:37 PM

      It’s the 2nd of Santana’s career. The first was way back in 2007, with the Twins. Coincidentally, it happened in New York, against the Mets:

  3. natinals10 - May 26, 2012 at 7:01 PM

    Johan is an all star this year

  4. dfh3456 - May 26, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    As a Met fan I root for Johan, but feel if he puts together a strong first half of the season, that it is in the Mets best interest to trade him at the deadline. If the Mets are willing to eat a decent portion of the salary, the prospect haul could be pretty good for a healthy Johan. The Mets are still at least a year or two away from having their farm system develop to the point, where they can hope to be serious contenders IMO.

    • dondada10 - May 26, 2012 at 8:02 PM

      This. I’m a die-hard Mets fan, and this is exactly what we should be hoping for. If Santana continues to show he’s healthy, the Mets gotta move him. Even if it’s just for one guy (like the Zack Wheeler trade).

      • hondoheaven47 - May 26, 2012 at 8:22 PM

        You guys are absolutely insane if you think the Mets will be able to trade Santana at all, no matter how dominating he’s been so far. He’s owed whatever’s left of the $24 million he’s making this year, as well as $25 million next year and a $5.5 million buyout for 2014. He’s staying put.

      • dondada10 - May 26, 2012 at 9:00 PM

        So, what the Mets would be trying to sell is ~40 mil for an ace pitcher down the stretch and for an entire season.

        Agreed, that’s a lot of money. But a team that sees itself as being a stud pitcher away (Texas? Toronto? Baltimore?) might consider if the price-tag was a single prospect.

      • ptfu - May 26, 2012 at 9:34 PM

        …and if the Mets were willing to eat some of that salary, somewhat balanced against the quality of the prospect(s) the Mets got back. As long as Santana is healthy and productive, there is a dollar figure and prospect quality level that someone else will accept for him. If the Mets want someone amazing back then they’ll have to eat a lot more money than if they’re doing a salary dump/nominal prospect.

      • dondada10 - May 26, 2012 at 9:44 PM

        You’re 100% correct. And come to think of it, I think the Mets kicked in some cash (I believe it was the sum equal to Wheeler’s signing bonus) when they traded Beltran to the Giants.

      • hondoheaven47 - May 26, 2012 at 10:42 PM

        You guys all make valid points, but they’re all predicated on Santana remaining healthy. While I really hope he does, he’s only made 10 starts this year. I think, if he proves he can stay healthy for a whole season, he could be traded in the off-season or maybe sometime next season. You’ve got to remember that we’re not talking about a guy coming back from Tommy John surgery, but rather a shoulder injury from which many pitchers never fully recover.

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