On Sunday afternoon versus the Miami Marlins, New York Mets starter Johan Santana tossed 2 2/3 innings allowing one unearned run on two hits, one walk, while striking out two in second start of the spring. Santana — who is making steady progress on his road to recovery from a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder — retired seven of the first eight batters he faced, including five in-a-row, before a Ronnie Cedeno error gave the Marlins their first base runner in the third. A single and a fly out to center followed the Cedeno error and after a four pitch walk to Hanley Ramirez to load the bases, Johan was lifted from the game after 43 pitches (22 strikes) due to inclement weather.
As was the case in his first start, Santana’s fastball sat in the 87-89 MPH range, while touching 90 MPH on a couple of pitches. The left hander, however, was not concerned about the radar readings.
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky
“You’ll see it out there when they swing and miss,” Santana said, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. “It’s all about them — the way they approach, the way they swing. It’s not about how hard or how slow you throw a pitch. I felt pretty good.”
The former Cy-Young award winner added the following in his post-game presser:
Even before the game, they had everything planned out that by the time I had to go out there, if there was a little bit of rain, I was just going to go out in the cage and throw a bullpen instead of going in the game. They didn’t know. But in that third inning, the weather started getting worse as I was pitching. It wasn’t bad right at the beginning of that third inning. “Now, I have to it every five games, and that’s what I’m focused on right now. And throwing my bullpen in between is definitely something we’re working on. And so far it’s been good. … Definitely I think Friday will be my next time out there. … We’re still building up pitches. I think once we get 80 to 90 pitches, and do it every five days, that’s when we’ll say we’re good.”
Manager Terry Collins was very pleased with Sunday afternoons results and expressed full confidence the southpaw would be ready for Opening Day:
I truly believe we’re going to do this right and Johan Santana will be on this team Opening Day. As he increases — basically his next start you add 15 [pitches] to today — and he’s at 60 to 65 his next time out. The next time out he’ll probably be 80. That’s when you start to see the effects of how he’s going to be in two days.”
I must admit, I was very pessimistic when it came to Johan, but the more I see him pitch and the more he pitches with good results, the more confident I become in his recovery. Maybe I’m setting myself up for disappointment, but It’s hard to argue with the results. While I know there’s a long way to go before we can get truly excited about having Johan completely back, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying each step along the way.