Friday, February 29, 2008

Johan shelled in spring debut

The big story today for the Mets was the spring training debut of Johan Santana. Johan only went 2 innings for the Mets (which is custom for starting pitchers in spring training) and gave up three earned, all of which came on a Juan Gonzalez (yes, that Juan Gonzalez) home run in the top of the first. Juan Gone crushed a high Santana fastball and immediately put the Mets in a hole.

Not to be outdone, the Mets scratched out two runs of their own in the bottom half of the first. David Wright singled home Jose Reyes and an error by Aaron Miles scored Brady Clark. The Mets tied the game in the bottom of the third on an RBI single from Jose Reyes, which plated Angel Pagan.

But, that's the closest the Mets would come to leading as an Albert Pujols home run in the top of the fifth off of Duaner Sanchez put the Cardinals ahead for good. Sanchez did look pretty good though, and after he gave up the home run to Pujols he settled down and got out of the inning.

In the top of the ninth, Fernando Martinez made a great diving catch (look for it on Sportscenter) but Eddie Kunz still allowed a run on a sacrifice fly. In the bottom half of the inning, Ruben Gotay turned on an inside fastball and cranked it out, bringing the Mets within one. That was all of the comeback the Mets had in them though, and the final score was 5-4 Cardinals.

I'm not worried about Santana getting knocked around because he was quite obviously just trying to throw strikes and a few got away from him. His fastball velocity, which is normally between 93 and 95 MPH, was hovering at only about 90 or 91. Once Opening Day rolls around, I think he'll be in good shape.

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