Mets Game 161: Win Over Marlins

Mets 2 Marlins 0

Jerry Manuel allowed Johan Santana to take the ball on short rest, but with one caveat: no more than 105 pitches.

So when Santana threw 104 pitches in his first eight shutout innings, Manuel had to let him out there to close it out.

Thank goodness he did.

Santana pitched the game of his life in the most important contest of the Mets’ 2008 season, ensuring that Sunday’s season finale would matter. Johan allowed just three hits and three walks, striking out 8, in earning his 16th win and second shutout of the season. He spent 117 pitches in the process.

Jose Reyes gave him the only run he needed in the first frame, after singling, stealing second, going to third on a single by #2 hitter Carlos Beltran, and scoring on a Carlos Delgado sac fly. The Mets scored again in the fourth when Ramon Martinez doubled in Daniel Murphy.

Next Game

The Mets finish their regular season against the Marlins on Sunday at 1:10 pm, weather permitting. Oliver Perez pitches on three days’ rest and a very short leash against Scott Olsen.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. isuzudude September 27, 2008 at 3:28 pm
    Seems like the Mets can only win when Johan’s on the mound silencing the opposition without needing to turn the ball over to the bullpen. That’s the only recipe for success. Because if Johan doesn’t pitch this game, I’m very confident a 2-run showing ain’t good enough to win the game. If only Johan could pitch again tomorrow, then in the potential 1-game playoff, and then for the duration of the postseason, I think the Mets would have a shot.

    Even if the Mets fail to make the playoffs (which is probably more a matter of when), I really hope there’s at least one bright spot remaining, and that is to have Johan win the NL Cy Young. I know he has some stiff competition (Webb, Lincecum, Lidge, Sabathia?) but no one comes close to the 2nd half that Santana put together while trying to help his team make the postseason. If Lidge is ruled out because of his relief status, and Sabathia is ruled out because of his short tenure in the NL, ask yourself this question: Of Johan, Webb, or Lincecum, who would you trust the most in a must-win game to pitch a complete game shutout on short rest and keep your postseason hopes alive? Well, with Webb and Lincecum the answer is debatable, but with Johan it’s not because of Saturday’s performance. That alone should be enough to get the majority of Cy Young votes.

  2. joe September 27, 2008 at 3:48 pm
    From a Mets fan’s point of view, yes Johan looks like he deserves a Cy Young. But stepping back from the situation, there’s no way a neutral party can vote for anyone other than Webb and his 22 wins, that’s five wins better than anyone else in the NL, and the CY is traditionally given to the pitcher with the most wins. If everyone were right around the same number of wins, it might be different. I’d be stunned if Webb didn’t get the Cy.
  3. Micalpalyn September 27, 2008 at 6:29 pm
    Except……Santana leads or is close in EVERY single statistical category including first in ERA, quality stats, innings….
  4. joe September 27, 2008 at 6:36 pm
    except, nobody who’s voting cares. The award is named for Cy Young not because he was the greatest pitcher of all-time, but because he won more games than anyone else, all-time. Generally speaking, throughout the history of the award, the guy with the most wins gets it — unless there are several guys all close to the same # of wins, or some reliever has a crazy great year AND there isn’t one clear-cut starter with winning numbers.

    Twenty-game winners are so rare in this day and age, Webb HAS to get it.