MLB Opening Day 2012: Mets' Johan Santana Sharp in First Start of Season
Santana went five innings without allowing a single run. He allowed two hits, two walks and struck out five hitters on the day.
At one point, Santana looked vintage, retiring 12 consecutive Braves hitters.
Of the 84 pitches he threw, 54 of them were strikes, which is significant, as Santana showed good control after such a long layoff. The Mets ace was on a strict pitch count for his return start.
Santana might have been able to go out for the sixth, but he got himself into a little trouble in his fifth and final inning.
With two outs and a runner on, Santana was hovering around the 70-pitch mark and looked like he'd cruise to the sixth. But that wasn't to be. The left-hander went on to walk Tyler Pastornicky after getting in front of him 0-2 and then walked the pitcher, Tommy Hansen.
The slider seemed to be giving Santana the most issues when he lost his control briefly in the fifth.
Santana would go on to force the next hitter, Michael Bourne, to ground out to get out of the bases-loaded jam. But the pitch-count damage had already been done and thus nixed any chance Santana had to go out for another inning.
Santana would end up with the no-decision in the Mets' 1-0 victory over the Braves. The bullpen pitched four scoreless innings, carrying the baton of victory from Santana to the end of the game.
Velocity is not a friend of Santana's anymore, as his fastball clocked in the high 80s consistently. Velocity dip has been no stranger to Santana over the past few seasons, and that's to be expected with all the arm troubles and age beginning to be a factor as well.
We'll have to see if he can improve upon that as the season moves along.
With Santana's return to the mound and him seemingly picking up where he left off before his injury, the Mets might have their ace back after a year-and-a-half.
Any team with an ace has a puncher's chance to make the playoffs, and the Mets qualify as one of those teams now that Santana looks like he's back.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?