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Johan Santana is struggling since his no-hitter

Jun 14, 2012, 6:13 PM EDT

Johan Santana Getty Images

Did the 134 pitches take a toll? After getting lit up by the Yankees last week, Johan Santana gave up four runs in five-plus innings Thursday versus the Rays in his second start since his no-hitter.

The 134 pitches Santana threw in shutting down the Cardinals were a career high for the left-hander, who was handled carefully during the first two months in his first season back from shoulder surgery. Pitching on six days’ rest last Friday, he gave up six runs and four homers in five innings in a loss to the Yankees. Today, working on five days’ rest, he got a win, but he allowed four runs in five-plus innings.

It actually should have been worse. Santana loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth, giving up a single to Hideki Matsui, a double to Ben Zobrist and a walk to Matt Joyce. Jon Rauch took over and managed to strand all three runners by getting two strikeouts and then a groundout.

Santana threw just 51 of his 95 pitches for strikes in this one. He issued four walks, his second highest total of the season (he walked five in the no-hitter).

Santana’s ERA has jumped from 2.38 to 3.23 since the no-no and would be higher if not for Rauch’s effort. The Mets have to be hoping its an aberration, not a trend. Santana and R.A. Dickey have been an outstanding one-two punch so far, but Santana needs to return to May form to keep that up.

  1. Utley's Hair - Jun 14, 2012 at 6:17 PM

    Ahh…and the real reason Dickey doesn’t want that no-hitter is revealed….

  2. Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Jun 14, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    I’d say it has a lot more to do with the lineups he has faced since shutting down the patchwork lineup of a club dealing with serious injury losses.

  3. charlutes - Jun 14, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    Its two bad starts and you won’t acknowledge it when he comes back and throws a good one.

  4. humanexcrement - Jun 15, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    Saw this one coming a mile away. It’s a shame, too. Johann was an even better athlete than his older brother, Tito.

  5. jamessmyth621 - Jun 15, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    When I saw “great job Rauch” on my twitter feed, I assumed it was sarcasm after something disastrous. Good for him and good for the Mets!

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