The New York Mets (47-46) have had a rough stretch to start the Second Half of the season dropping a game for the seventh time in their last eight games. The latest was a 7-6 decision to the Los Angeles Dodgers (50-44) on Friday night baseball action.
Starter Johan Santana (L, 6-7) allowed six runs, all earned in 3.0 innings worked tonight and has now allowed six earned runs in three straight starts dating to July 6-which is the longest such streak in his career.
“He is not hurt, but we are going to talk about is seeing what we can do to get some energy back in his arms,” said Mets manager Terry Collins on Johan’s most recent string of starts. When asked what the team may do in the event of Santana hitting a wall Collins had this to say, “We sat down during Spring Training and talked about skipping him a day, backing him up some. When we got back from the break he had eight days and pitched on the ninth and he just hasn’t responded. We are going to talk about it and discuss some options.”
Some of the options that maybe discussed for Johan include skipping a start and putting him on the Disabled List Collins weight both saying, “Do you want to skip him one start, if you put him on the DL then you are talking two starts –I don’t know we are going to talk about it.”
Fans can expect for there to be a move by the franchise soon, including a spot bullpen start for knuckleball specialist R.A. Dickey. As a total of four relievers were used to toss 6.0 innings of one-hit ball throughout the rest of the game.
“We are talking about bringing in someone, especially because we had to use the pen today. There is a good shot that we are going to have to use RA tomorrow,” said Collins of the situation.
New York did make the game close as a four hit day by Daniel Murphy and a pinch hit home run by Jordany Valdespin got the Mets to within one run. Sadly though, for the Orange and Blue faithful, on this night the guys were unable to find that ninth inning magic, that spark that has been able to lead them to so many victories in the early part of the season.
Valdespin has been a bright spot for the Mets; with his pinch hit homer the infielder tied the single season franchise record for pinch-hit homers. The rookie is the first with a four hit pinch-hit home run season since Cincinnati’s Chris Heisey in 2012, and the four tie him for third most by a rookie since 1974.
“I think he has pinch hit either 23 or 24 times, he has four hits all for homers,” said Collins. “I can’t even explain it. He is aggressive, he takes a big swing and it has got it centered pretty well.”
Murphy, meanwhile, tied a career high with four hits marking the fourth time the second baseman accomplished the feat. Thus far Murphy is hitting .354 at Citi Field entering the day seventh in the NL in home batting average.
New York will look to rebound in Game Two as Miguel Batista (1-2, 3.98 ERA) takes on former Mets-starter Chris Capuano (9-5, 2.75 ERA). The Mets/Dodgers series is set to air on the PIX 11 Network, with first pitch slated for 1:10 p.m.
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