Originally posted on MetsZilla  |  Last updated 3/22/12

Yesterday afternoon, New York Mets starter Johan Santana tossed six brilliant innings allowing one run on six hits and no walks while striking out six against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.  Santana threw 69 pitches, 48 of which were strikes, with his fastball sitting at 88 mph; which was more than enough velocity to make his changeup effective, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

Here is what some of the NY beat writers had to say during Santana’s start:


Santana gets Beltran on a soft liner to short. 1-2-3 inning. Ok, sorry for the interruption, back to Tebow. about 20 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®ReplyRetweetFavorite @MetsWFAN Mets WFAN


Six up and six down for Santana against the Cardinals “Opening Day” lineup. Scoreless in the top of the 3rd in Jupiter. about 20 hours ago via Twitter for AndroidReplyRetweetFavorite @Mets New York Mets


Johan Santana’s perfect game over on one-out single in third by Rafael Furcal. He’s still pitching pretty darn good. about 19 hours ago via TweetDeckReplyRetweetFavorite @AdamRubinESPN Adam Rubin


Johan Santana one-hitter through 3 innings now. 31 pitches. Third inning: Jay 6-3, Furcal single, Westbrook sac bunt, Greene 5-3. about 19 hours ago via TweetDeckReplyRetweetFavorite @AdamRubinESPN Adam Rubin


No stadium gun readings being posted. Scout at game has Santana sitting at 88 mph with fastball. about 19 hours ago via TweetDeckReplyRetweetFavorite @AdamRubinESPN Adam Rubin


Santana has hit 89 mph few times in 4th. Gives up 2nd hit, to Holliday in inning, but only bc LF Rottino not enough range for foul catch. about 19 hours ago via TweetDeckReplyRetweetFavorite @AdamRubinESPN Adam Rubin


Johan Santana three hits surrendered through 4 innings. 44 pitches. 3 Ks, including wicked changeup to Freese in 4th that sent bat flying. about 19 hours ago via TweetDeckReplyRetweetFavorite @AdamRubinESPN Adam Rubin


In addition to the zeroes, Santana seems to be inducing more weak contact today than he has at any point this spring. #Mets about 19 hours ago via TweetDeckReplyRetweetFavorite @AnthonyDiComo Anthony DiComo


Johan Santana 1-2-3 fifth inning. Three hits, four strikeouts, no runs or walks through 5. 55 pitches. about 19 hours ago via TweetDeckReplyRetweetFavorite @AdamRubinESPN Adam Rubin


Johan Santana twice has struck out David Freese today on changeups. Both times Freese’s bat went flying up third-base line. about 19 hours ago via TweetDeckReplyRetweetFavorite @AdamRubinESPN Adam Rubin

David Freese was impressed with what he saw from the former Cy Young Award Winner, saying

I’m rooting for him to get back on track – I think he’s good for this game. I’ve always watched him and been extremely impressed … and it’s cool to see when aces get on the mound and do what they do.”


Santana done for the day: One run allowed over 6 innings, 69 pitches. Mets should be happy. about 18 hours ago via webReplyRetweetFavorite @NYPost_Mets Mike Puma

My favorite tweet of them all was the one below Puma which read the words “Santana ready for opener.” Something I never thought I would hear three short weeks ago:


Santana handling lineup that includes Beltran, Holliday, Freese, Berkman. Four shutout innings. Looks ready for opener. about 19 hours ago via webReplyRetweetFavorite @NYPost_Mets Mike Puma

Following his outing, Santana spoke to reporters and according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, said the following:

Photo taken by Michael Baron

I threw some good [change-ups] out there. When I’m able to set everything up, and throw my fastballs and mix my changeups, sometimes that happens [flying bats]. I’m pretty sure he was trying to hit a ball and I threw the right pitch and he swung and missed. It’s good to see those swings sometimes. … It’s not about one inning or that pitch or what they’re doing. It’s about going deeper in the game and warming up between innings and to come back again and compete and throw your pitches again with the same consistency from the first one all the way to the last one. … We’re going to see the next couple of days how it feels. I’ve got to throw my bullpen and we’ll go from there, but so far it’s been good. The way I feel, the way that we have worked from the beginning, everything has been positive. … Definitely I feel really good mentally and physically that I’ll be there. … We’re getting closer. Like I’ve always said, every time that I go through one day I’m closer to coming back. I’m definitely working my way to be ready for Opening Day. We’ll see how everything goes.”

Manager Terry Collins added:

We talk about the process involved in getting him ready for the season. There are some minor steps. There are some baby steps. And there’s some giant steps. And today was a giant step forward. To pitch to that lineup the way he pitched and then to get up and down and recuperate — outstanding.”

As a fan, you have to be encouraged by what Johan has shown us thus far in the spring.  Personally, I was one of the most pessimistic when it came to #57, but every time he takes the mound I am becoming more and moreoptimistic that he can be healthy and give the Mets the top of the rotation presence they desperately need. Seriously, who would have thought Johan Santana would be the best story of the spring thus far…

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