Mets Game 84: Win Over Reds

Mets 3 Reds 0

Perhaps tired of leaving things in others’ hands, Johan Santana said, “I’ll do it myself”.

Santana pitched all nine innings, shutting out the Reds on 3 hits. Not only did he refuse help from the bullpen, but he also supplied all the runs he needed via a solo homer — the first of his MLB career.

The offense did give him a couple insurance runs, but he did not need them. He is a man!

Game Notes

It was all about Johan Santana, who was masterful and pitched like a true ace for the first time in a long time.

Santana’s homerun came after seeing a dozen pitches in a hard-fought at-bat vs. emergency starter Matt Maloney, who had filled in for the ailing Aaron Harang. Harang is dealing with a chronic back issue.

Jose Reyes returned to the lineup and went 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Jason Bay drove in the other two Mets runs with a two-out single in the sixth.

Next Mets Game

The rubber match begins at 7:10 PM on Wednesday night. Jon Niese goes to the mound against Bronson Arroyo.

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. gary s. July 6, 2010 at 10:26 pm
    better command and hitting 92 mph put johan over the top tonite.great performance against a good hitting team and in sauna like conditions.Hey dude, if u read my post, david wright lost another home run to the ridiculous dimensions in right center tonite.hit it close to 400 feet into the glove of the right fielder.ABSURD!!Than, 2 seconds later i see a replay of ryan howard hitting a pop up the other way in philly about 360 feet off the wall for a game tying 2 run triple.The wilpons hate their best player.I”m still hoping they bring that fence in about 25 feet next year and take down the second wall in left field.Roy Halladay HAS NO PROBLEM winning in a small park.Citifield still would be one of the biggest parks in baseball.It just would not penalize the best player on your team for the next 10 years.
  2. Joe Janish July 6, 2010 at 11:46 pm
    But Gary, if they move the fence in you’d never see the greatest rarity in MLB history: a triple by Rod Barajas. It’s going to happen one of these days — and only because of the dimensions of The Field at Shea Bridge.
  3. wohjr July 7, 2010 at 1:45 am
    Only caught the last few innings but Johan has a good look about him, one that I haven’t seen in a while. Huge smile at the end of the game, but not one of relief…. more of an “I’m back”
  4. Strapping Big Mouse-Cleaver July 7, 2010 at 2:34 am
    Does this mean Santana “had his best stuff?”

    Truth is, even if his velocity is fading with age, he’s still a great pitcher. The guy should have 9-10 wins this year. Glad to see him get a W he deserves.

  5. isuzudude July 7, 2010 at 9:04 am
    I thought I heard the crew talking about Johan fixing an issue with tipping pitches, which has in turn produced the results we’ve seen over his last 2 starts. If this had been the root cause of his struggles this season, then there’s every reason to believe he can continue to pitch like the Johan of old for the remainder of 2010. Now that he’s also half a season into his surgery recovery certainly helps my confidence in him.

    gary: I don’t think we’re ever going to understand each other when it comes to this argument about CitiField’s dimensions. The ball Wright hit to dead center last night likely would have been a home run in most other ballparks, yes. But harken back to Monday night when Jay Bruce hit an opposite field double to left field that hit high off the wall. This also would have been a home run in most other parks. So the Mets (and David Wright, specifically) are not the only victims of Citi’s big outfield. I think you fail to grasp that concept. For every home run Citi robs from the Mets, it is also robbing a HR from the opposition. It is an equal opportunity robber. However, the Mets can use (and have been using) the dimensions in their favor by assembling an athletic outfield that can cover a lot of ground, and by building a team that hits line drives and has speed, thus producing a plethora a triples and instances of taking extra bases while the opposition hits long flyballs that die in the outfield. It’s really tough for me to understand how you can complain about the Mets’ home field when they have one of the best home records in baseball. They are obviously taking advantage of the dimensions and are using them to exploit other teams’ weaknesses. If you bring in the fences, or lower the wall, all you are doing is giving the opposition a better chance at beating us at home. Is that really what you want, as long as Wright is hitting more home runs?

    btw, does the person who pleaded the Mets to trade Wright for prospects still hold their same opinion now? it is clear Wright has performed a total 180 from last season, and is back as one of the top 5 players in the game. do we still think trading this type of player for unknown commodities is a wide idea, or have we backed off this notion?

  6. gary s. July 7, 2010 at 9:36 am
    dude, i understand we are in different camps on the insane dimensions in citifield.the main reason i posted, was right after d.w. hit one 400 feet on the screws to right center for an out, sny showed the replay of ryan howard hitting a fly ball 365 feet to left center for a triple and 2 rbi’s.your arguement of the dimensions being the reason for home field superiority is not true.The wilpons’s dream team, the dodgers, had tremendous success in ebbets field and the place was a did, the twins in the 90’s with the metrodome (aka homerdome).the dimensions have also wreaked havoc with jason bay this year.why waste 66 mill on a power hitter to play in this insane park?The phillies dominate at home in a bandbox,Do u really think that if the mets moved in right center by 25 feet and took down the high wall in left field, this team would not have the same record at home this year? To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, “TEAR DOWN THAT WALL”
  7. isuzudude July 7, 2010 at 11:14 am
    ok, gary, if the dimensions at citifield are not responsible for helping the Mets go 29-13 at home this season, then tell me, what is the reason? I’d love to hear your rationale.

    The reason certain teams perform well in “bandbox” type stadiums is because those teams are built around power. Their outfielders need not be fast or strong defensively, because there’s much less room in the outfield to patrol. Instead, those 3 positions can be filled with home run guys, who will hit 30-40 home runs padding their stats in a bandbox (see Pat Burrell, Raul Ibanez, Nick Swisher, etc.) However, the current Mets team is built around speed and defense. Jason Bay has shown the ability to hit 30+ home runs in a season, but he’s also showing the ability to hit triples, steal bases, collect his RBI, and hit for a respectable average at CitiField. How do you figure the dimensions have “wrecked havoc” with Bay? He’s still on pace for close to 40 doubles, over 10 triples, close to 100 RBI, close to 100 runs scored, close to 20 SB, and his batting average is right around his career mark. Aside from hitting home runs, he’s doing pretty much what the Mets could have expected from him. You are far too infatuated with home runs. You don’t pay big money for free agents just so they can hit home runs, and teams don’t win games exclusively based on the number of home runs they hit.

    CitiField is currently ranked the 4th hardest ballpark to hit a home run at. One of the ballparks where it’s even harder to hit one out is the Twins’ new home, Target Field (0.594 home runs per game, opposed to 0.635 at Citi). Yet, the Twins at 26-17 at home using an athletic outfield, line drive hitters, and strong team speed. Like the Mets, they are showing there are other formulas to winning games besides playing home run derby in a small ballpark.

    And by the way, the Phillies are 21-16 at home this year, which is far from a “dominant” record. They were also only 9 games over .500 at home last year, opposed to 15 games over .500 on the road. Seems to me like playing in a bandbox worked less in their favor than playing on the road in some bigger stadiums. What do you have to say about that?

  8. gary s. July 7, 2010 at 12:02 pm
    all i’d like to see is the 415 distance in right center brought in to 385-390 and the high wall from left center to centerfield removed.It would still be one of the bigger parks in baseball.deep fences with low walls are ok by me.deep fences with highwalls indicates the planners are mentally ill.I’m an earl weaver guy.I like the 3 run homer in the first inning.The 2006 team when willie was here hit a lot of 3 run bombs early and dominated at home..I guess u prefer a lot of 0-0 games in the 6th inning.I’ll take a win anyway we can get one, bit most 0-0 games are boring.btw, have u been to a game at citfield?just curious.if u haven’t it’s no big deal.i usually hang out in the pepsi porch before the game, and i have never seen a ballpark constructed with dimensions like citifield.though as u mentioned target field in minnesota is way too big also.what does mauer have?? 5 homeruns at the break..we could have gotten johnny gomes for 2 mill to exceed or equal bay’s numbers.bay is a huge waste of money in this park and the front office should have realized that. i repeat “MR. WILPON, TEAR DOWN THAT WALL!!!!
  9. wohjr July 7, 2010 at 12:21 pm
    Hello Dude-

    Yes I am still here, and I still say the same thing I have said. As enjoyable as this team is, and they certainly are, I still say they cannot win the world series as currently constituted. This is the typical good-enough-to-put-butts-in-the-seats team the Mets always put out– just intriguing enough to get people on the 7 and buying them $9 czechvars.

    If that’s what you’re excited about, great. I am saying that if the team cannot win with this core then you start looking at who can bring value in return. Dwright would bring the most, without question. You are the one bringing emotion into this, I like Dwright fine– you’re the one who is head over heels. But hey, you never know, Niese could go 6-0 in late September/October and I’ll look like a fool…. but you realize that’s what it’ll take, right?!

  10. gary s. July 7, 2010 at 12:35 pm
    wohrjr, i finally found out who designed the dimensions for citifield.YOU DID!!!btw, who would u play at third after we trade wright for prospects.cora?tatis?bobby pfeil?? i’ll give u points for posting and taking a beating though..
  11. Mike July 7, 2010 at 5:02 pm
    A top 5 offensive/defensive player and future hall of famer is better than an ace unless that Ace is young and also a future HOFer. So Lincecum and Strasburg come to mind as possibly fitting that description… maybe they will trade for DWright.

    gary give it up many you are focusing on the wrong things and your ego is the only thing keeping you from admitting it.

  12. gary s. July 7, 2010 at 7:48 pm
    the nats sell out every time stassbourg steps on the mound and u think they are going to trade him after 5 starts in the bigs and still have a fan base.ARE U OUT OF YOUR MIND??
  13. Mike July 7, 2010 at 9:30 pm
    So dumb you can’t even detect when I’m insulting someone for their own stupidity.
  14. gary s. July 7, 2010 at 10:41 pm
    sorry.. i didn’t realize you are the don rickles of mets today.of course you aren’t very bright either for taking my bring in the fences stuff so seriously.I’m just having a little fun.In the future i will try to focus on the “right things”
  15. wohjr July 7, 2010 at 11:17 pm
    So the stupid is directed at me. How about after the 1-run performance tonight against Bronson Friggin’ Arroyo. Still feeling good about our chances??? That nubber in the 9th from D was just soooo classic. Seeing Dwright retire in a Mets cap is all you’ll be getting for the next 25 years at this rate…. But that’s what you wanted rather than a WS win, right chump?
  16. gary s. July 8, 2010 at 8:16 am
    right..every met fan wants to finish last and no met fan should root for a favorite player unless we get permission from u.
  17. Mike July 8, 2010 at 9:27 am
    Seriously I don’t know why many of you even like the Mets. Wright is my guy. Reyes is my guy. I am all in with these players. WS or no I want them in Mets uniforms for their careers so long as they are elite or close to elite players. Which they are now and will be for another 5-10 years. I want them to win the World Series, but not just the name on the front, but the name on the back too. I root for the Mets, and along the way I fall for certainly players. If they leave the Mets I root for them to win championships, just not at the Mets expense. This is why I am a fan of the team, and the players on it. Especially home grown players. Trust me on this, economically speaking, DWright and Reyes are worth more to the Mets as hall of famers and no rings than whatever ace they could get for them and a single ring. I firmly believe that these two , and centerpiece core players, can and will win a ring as Mets. So yes I would keep them both, not even for one ring.
  18. loge mezzanine July 8, 2010 at 10:17 am
    Isuzu, I don’t think the Mets are built around speed. Not for a second. It happened by accident and Jerry has exploited it very effectively. Credit goes to Jerry 100%, not Omar.

  19. loge mezzanine July 8, 2010 at 10:21 am
    Mike, you are not explaining why you are a Mets fan. You are explaining that you have a mancrush on two Mets players. And it sounds to me that it is mostly based off of perceived economic benefit to the franchise and not much else. To each his own, I suppose.

    And Reyes is not going to the HOF. Wright might… Too early to tell. So don’t put all your eggs in the “I’ll trade a WS ring to see Wright/Reyes inducted into the HOF as Mets” basket.

  20. wohjr July 8, 2010 at 10:51 am
    We should accept losing because seeing wright and reyes in a mets uniform is just so innately pleasurable who could care about actually winning?! This is what you’re posting?

    Wait a minute… ARE YOU JEFF WILPON?

  21. gary516 July 8, 2010 at 11:17 am
  22. isuzudude July 8, 2010 at 11:57 am
    loge: the only positions which were not “built” around speed are C and 1B – which are positions you generally never get speed from. Jason Bay may have been brought in for his power, but he’s certainly no Mo Vaughn out there. His 10 SBs this year prove that. You look at Pagan, Beltran, Reyes, Wright, and Castillo – those are 5 guys who can steal 20 bases a season. Name another team in baseball with 5 projected players who could steal 20 bases in a season. The only starting-caliber player not mentioned is Jeff Francoeur, and he’s certainly not slow by anyone’s standards. And regardless if the team backed their way into having a speedy team or intended to construct one from opening day, the point is they are a speedy team and their speed is what is partially responsible for their edge at home. I’m clueless how anyone can deny that.

    Meantime, the back and forth banter here is nauseating. It pits one guy who wants to trade the best player on the team for prospects in the middle of the playoff hunt, against another guy who cares more about home runs than watching his team win. What a riveting debate.

  23. loge mezzanine July 8, 2010 at 1:00 pm
    -Beltran hasn’t played a game yet
    -Pagan was supposed to be backing up GMJ
    -Castillo has been on the DL or banged up most of the season and signing him was a disaster

    Which brings us back to Wright and Reyes. Both were drafted/signed in 2001 and 1999, respectively.

    The team’s speed is largely an accident, as I laid out in that post, yet it is a big reason why they have an edge at home. And don’t forget the pitching.

    By the way, I am not saying Wright or Reyes should be traded right now. I know you know that, but I just want to make it clear.

  24. wohjr July 8, 2010 at 3:06 pm
    uuuh… ‘dude…. you were the one who brought me into this
  25. isuzudude July 8, 2010 at 3:45 pm
    -Beltran was brought in by Omar and was counted on having a big season until he opted for surgery in January
    – Pagan was penciled in as GMJ’s backup by Jerry, not Omar. He was also acquired by Omar from the Cubs for pennies, and not traded during the offseason when there was pressure to do so
    – Castillo still represents speed and was another piece put in place by Omar. His contract may or may not be a “disaster,” but if he was putting up his 2009 numbers in 2010, somehow I don’t think you’d be saying that. Plus there’s still half a season to go, so let’s not be hasty.

    That’s nice that Reyes and Wright were drafted way back when, but fact is they were re-signed for less than market value by Omar. They were also kept as core players and not traded by Omar.

    You put me in the uncomfortable position of defending Omar, who I feel has made his fair share of blunders. But let’s take off the blinders. The Mets are one of the speedier teams in the league, and all of these speedy players were acquired or retained by Omar. And the fact of the matter is that their speed is a big reason for their home success, which I’m glad you admit.

  26. Mike July 9, 2010 at 2:22 pm
    loge I just try to point out that the Mets are not moving these players for anything at all. I want more than anything for this team win a WS, but something has to be said for players staying in one place and winning a title. With LeBron and all this NBA junk going on I’m feeling very attached to my players. Players who I am just as emotionally invested in at this point as the team. Sure after they leave I will still like the team and eventually move on, but it still kills me that Piazza never won a title. Or Curtis Martin with the Jets. Or Patrick Ewing. It goes on.

    I’d rather go all in with Reyes and Wright, and not be guaranteed to win a title, than to trade them and have like a 90% chance in one year. I think these players have at least another 5 years to try and win a championship. Call me crazy but if they continue to add players and put a good rotation together each year this team can win a championship. And it would mean more to me, and most fans, if it was Wright and Reyes winning it and not some combination of hired guns.