Originally posted on MetsZilla  |  Last updated 8/18/12

I’m not sure where rock bottom is for New York Mets starter Johan Santana, but after becoming the first pitcher in team history to allow six or more runs in five consecutive starts, I’m sure this is close.  Last night Johan was rocked by the Nationals and after the game his pitching coach Dan Warthen, when posed with the question of shutting down the former ace for the remainder of the year said ““Certainly we’ll talk about it,” Warthen said. “Sandy and Terry and I will go in, and we’ll talk.”

As for Johan, the 33-year-old made the following comment after his latest disappointing outing:

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Santana, on shutting down: “Whatever they want to do, as long as it works out for everybody in the long term, I think it will be fine.” about 14 hours ago via TweetDeckReplyRetweetFavorite @SurfingTheMets Andy Martino

Johan is a fighter but didn’t seem to put up much of a battle when faced with the proposition of shutting things down.  To me that screams that something isn’t exactly right, as Andy Martino pointed out on Twitter:

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You come to expect healthy athletes to shoot that down. Sometimes when they don’t they’re hoping front office reads between the lines. about 14 hours ago via TweetDeckReplyRetweetFavorite @SurfingTheMets Andy Martino

If Santana isn’t hurt then I don’t see a good reason to shut him down because he already has zero trade value given the $30 million + due to him in 2013 and he will have to use this time to figure things out for next season, as suggested by Michael Baron of Metsblog.com this morning when discussing the Mets options:

Photo by Michael G. Baron

……as both Gary Cohen and Ron Darling suggested last night, if they do in fact shut Santana down, there’s no way for him to work his way out of this funk, nor would he have the ability to evolve into the pitcher he needs to become in order to extend his career. It’s not an envious position to be in by any means, and I don’t think either option is particularly great. In either case, there’s no question Santana has reached a low point and a crossroad of sorts in his career. Whether it’s now or next season, he will have to make some key adjustments going forward in order to be an effective Major League pitcher going forward.”

Much like Johan, fans are left wondering where the bottom is for this team.  One thing is for sure, if they don’t start playing better, the fast approaching cellar of the NL East will be a good jumping off point.  Let’s just hope Jonathon Niese, who has thrown 6.0 or more in innings in his last 13 starts (3.12 ERA) fares better today.
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