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It’s time for the Mets to shut down Johan Santana

Aug 17, 2012, 9:23 PM EDT

Johan Santana Getty Images

Johan Santana gave up six runs in five innings to the Nationals on Friday, sending him to his fifth straight loss in a 6-4 game. He’s allowed 33 runs in 19 innings that span, taking his season ERA from 2.76 to 4.83.

The Mets didn’t want to admit it and trade veterans away before the deadline, but they’re playing for 2013 at this point. And given that they’re set to pay Santana a whopping $25.5 million next year, it’d make sense to give him the best possible chance to enter the season healthy. That would mean shutting him down now.

There’s no way to know whether it was truly cause and effect, but the fact is that Santana hasn’t been the same pitcher since throwing a career-high 134 pitches in his no-hitter against the Cardinals on June 1. Even the break he got last month when he served a DL stint due to a sprained ankle didn’t do him any good; he’s been lit up in both outings since.

Again, there’s really no good that can come from having Santana continue to take the mound. It’s time to save those bullets for 2013, when they might actually matter.

  1. keithbangedyermom - Aug 17, 2012 at 9:35 PM

    AGREED

  2. wethog66 - Aug 17, 2012 at 9:50 PM

    Shut him down? Thats pathetic!

    • kkolchak - Aug 18, 2012 at 7:37 AM

      Keep pitching him when he is still struggling to overcome a major injury and the team has no chance of making the playoffs? That’s pathetic.

      • natslady - Aug 18, 2012 at 7:43 AM

        kk, you didn’t notice wethogg66′s sarcasm button?

        It was strange game. Santana is mowing down the Nats like he’s going for another no-hitter until the 4th inning, then bam, bam, bam, slam. Was it because Davey took away Santana’s golden glove?

      • chill1184 - Aug 18, 2012 at 9:21 AM

        @natslady

        Funny how it’s the second time in three days an opposing manager bitches about something a pitcher has been doing all season. Dusty Baker complaining about Dickey’s wrist strap (made by his daughters) which had been on him all season (several pictures show King Felix wearing a much thicker one on the same day) and Johnson going after the Gold Glove plate on Santana’s glove.

      • wethog66 - Aug 19, 2012 at 1:32 AM

        Thats loser talk. lol

  3. watchfullhose - Aug 17, 2012 at 10:01 PM

    Dusty Baker did it?

    • natslady - Aug 18, 2012 at 8:06 AM

      Well, as long as we are on the subject, there was some giggling here when Dusty said OBP means the pitcher goes into the stretch and pitchers don’t like the stretch. I thought that was pretty acute of him. OBVIOUSLY, OBP means you didn’t get an out, and you are on base. But Dusty took it a step beyond the obvious. Look at this from last night:

      As Ray K said several times during the game, Santana was a different pitcher working from the stretch — his velocity lower, his command less sharp. The stats bear him out. Of the fifteen men he got out, fourteen came from the windup. Only his final out — a long fly to left by Morse to end the 5th — was from the stretch, and that came after a visit to the mound by the pitching coach.

      I would love to know if there is research on this; if there is, point me to it. (The 6’6” donkey–Werth–was the leadoff hitter who got Santana into the stretch. The first time, 3 singles and a slam. The second time, after Werth got on, Harper homered. Believe it or not, the Mets’ bullpen held, but the six runs were enough for the Nats.)

  4. missthemexpos - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    For the sake of a no-hitter do you allow your pitcher throw a career high # of pitches? Wonder if other managers are thinking what they would do if in similar circumstances if one of their own highly paid pitchers has a chance for glory, but with a very high pitch count also.

    • kkolchak - Aug 18, 2012 at 7:38 AM

      If they were smart, they would have pulled him. And who is to say the bullpen couldn’t have maintained the no-hitter? After all, Seattle used six pitchers for the Millwood no hitter this year.

      • keithbangedyermom - Aug 18, 2012 at 4:52 PM

        There was no way he was coming out of that game. Besides, odds are, this is more fatigue from not pitching in more than a year than the aftermath of the no-hitter. Either way, shut him down.

  5. spudatx - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:25 PM

    The Mets are off the rails on the crazy train known as the 2012 season.

  6. butchhuskey - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:32 PM

    How can you blame his struggles entirely on the no-hitter? He threw maybe 15-20 extra pitches and was given extra rest. I highly doubt that one start would ruin his entire rest of the season. I think the fact that he’s had two major surgeries in recent years and missed all of last year has made it difficult for him to pitch the workload of a full season. He’s most likely fatigued because he hasn’t gotten this deep into a season in years

    • butchhuskey - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:34 PM

      By the way, sorry for saying “season” so much

    • The Dangerous Mabry - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:47 PM

      “There’s no way to know whether it was truly cause and effect”

      That doesn’t sound like someone that’s “blaming his struggles entirely on the no-hitter” to me.

      • butchhuskey - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:50 PM

        Well perhaps Matthew isn’t, but a lot of my fellow Met fans are

      • kkolchak - Aug 18, 2012 at 7:40 AM

        Well, they should. There’s no definitive proof, ‘cept for the fact that he was great before hand and has sucked ever since. That’s what legal beagles call circumstantial evidence.

    • chill1184 - Aug 18, 2012 at 9:14 AM

      Blaming his struggles on the no-hitter is a talking point for the mental midgets in the MSM. The fact is nobody knows the real reason is.

      • kkolchak - Aug 18, 2012 at 11:36 AM

        As a Nats fan, I wholeheartedly endorse that type of “thinking” on the part of Mets management.

  7. Francisco (FC) - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:41 PM

    Cause and effect? Oh please what bullsh*t. Check his game logs, he’s been struggling all year. Before the perfect game he had a number of outings in April and May where he pitched poorly. As Roy Halladay said, when you throw a lot of pitches you adjust your bullpen session and throw less. Santana is coming back from yet another shoulder surgery he’s a shadow of his former self who shows flashes of his once upon time brilliance.

    Pitching 134 did not ruin him, did you expect him to come back and be the santana of old after two straight years of injuries? Truth is he’s passed the 100 inning mark after two years when he hardly pitched at all, he’s basically running on fumes season wise. He wasn’t going to come back and throw 200 innings and contend for the Cy Young. He’s a work in progress. I will agree he should shut down, get some rest and get off to an early off season program to build back strength and endurance he’s lost.

    • butchhuskey - Aug 17, 2012 at 11:52 PM

      He has not been struggling all year – all pitchers have the occasional bad start. He was pretty damn good until about halfway through this season when he’s fallen apart

  8. DonRSD - Aug 18, 2012 at 7:48 AM

    As a Meta fan it hurts me to say this, but Johan is done.
    His fastball is barely 90 and his off speed, while still great, is about 80.
    Not enough difference in speed.
    He has failed to develop a 3rd & 4th pitch so hitters just sit on fastball or change up.
    When he was throwing 95-96 he was dominant.
    Dude should’ve developed a slider, curve and maybe a 5th pitch by now.
    As you get older you need more control/pitches.
    A 90mph fastball & 80mph change up just won’t cut it.

  9. fat4jc - Aug 18, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    Enough on this. Can we discuss how Davey Johnson? He called out Johan’s glove cause it was “too shiny”. What is with this guy? I like the Nationals and all, but Davey Johnson is a smug, bitter old man.

    • natslady - Aug 18, 2012 at 2:28 PM

      I could see the “smug” (although I don’t agree, I do see he has plenty of ego) but where is the “bitter” coming from? He’s having a blast.

    • keithbangedyermom - Aug 18, 2012 at 5:01 PM

      Davey can’t stand the Mets because of how the team treated him when they fired him. Remember when he said this Nats team was better than the 86 Mets? Yeah, ok Davey boy.

      • keithbangedyermom - Aug 18, 2012 at 5:03 PM

        Win the World Series and we’ll talk about it.

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