Mets v. Astros: Mets Turn To Johan Santana as Offense Sputters

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Mets v. Astros: Mets Turn To Johan Santana as Offense Sputters
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

NEW YORK-- The Mets won their opening game against the Astros last night, but got out-hit nine to three. Once again, they couldn't produce any offense against a mediocre starting pitcher.

Normally, when Johan Santana takes the hill, the Mets offense doesn't do any better. They'll try to finally support him tonight, as the Mets face Brett Myers in the middle game of the weekend series.

The last two games, prior to last night, the Mets scored four runs and lost due to a bad pitching performance. Last night, Mike Pelfrey was outstanding, but they didn't hit anything. It's been one or the other all season for the Mets, as they've never clicked on all cylinders at once.

Johan Santana has made 27 starts this season, nine being no-decisions. In those nine starts, his ERA is 2.10. It's hard for a pitcher to be 0-0 through any nine-game stretch with an ERA that low, but that shows how little the Mets have done to help him out.

His last start is another example and it was a loss. On Sunday, with the Mets trying to sweep the Pirates, Santana pitched phenomenally.

In eight innings, he allowed two runs on four hits and struck out nine batters. The two runs came on two solo home runs by Lastings Milledge and Jose Tabata. Once again though, Santana pitches to his no-decision ERA of two and doesn't get a win.

How many wins should Santana have right now? He has 10

Submit Vote vote to see results

It has become very frustrating for him although he won't publicly admit it or show it. The Mets should be frustrated as well with their missed opportunities.

They gained some ground in the Wild Card standings last night to cut within seven games, but they could've been a whole lot closer.

Three of their last five games have been devastating concerning playoff standing. Besides the loss to the Pirates with their ace on the mound on Sunday, they lost consecutive tough games to the Marlins before last night's win.

One game, they came within a hit of completing a comeback, and the other game they blew a 4-0 lead. You add those three games and the Mets are only four games behind instead of seven.

Starting tonight, the Mets have to win virtually all of Santana's remaining starts in 2010. They'll try their luck against a man that hasn't pitched less than six innings in a start all season, Brett Myers.

The Mets faced him 10 days ago in Houston, and he received a no-decision in a game the Mets won, 3-2. He pitched well in seven innings of work, allowing two runs.

He pitched seven innings in his last start against his former Phillies club, making it 26-for-26 for six or more innings pitched this season. He won that game, allowing two runs and striking out nine.

Ruben Tejada started at shortstop for the injured Jose Reyes last night, and actually got a hit. It was a single over the infield, giving him his second hit in his last 45 at-bats. He amazingly drew a bases loaded walk against Nelson Figueroa before the hit to get him started.

Reyes is still day-to-day and could play when the Mets get to Atlanta, but that's still up in the air.

The Mets demoted outfielder Jesus Feliciano, who is this era's Heath Bell concerning minor league trips, and promoted infielder Luis Hernandez to back up Tejada at shortstop.

The Mets will try to avoid placing Reyes on the disabled list, as they can call up as many as 15 additional players on Wednesday when the rosters expand to 40.

They'll try to support Santana tonight sans Reyes, looking to win the series from the Astros.

Johan Santana vs. Houston (August 17)
Loss, 8 IP, 4 ER, 9 hits, 1 BB, 7 SO, 2 HR

Brett Myers vs. New York (August 18)
ND, 7 IP, 2 ER, 7 hits, 3 BB, 4 SO

2010 season series (New York vs. Houston)
August 16: New York 3, Houston 1
August 17: Houston 4, New York 3
August 18: New York 3, Houston 2 (14)
August 19: Houston 3, New York 2
August 27: New York 2, Houston 1
Mets lead series 3-2

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