Johan Santana was the story again tonight, as he has been most times he pitches. He struck out ten batters for the fourth time this season, and recorded 20 swinging strikes, matching his season-high. He also picked up that bizarre infield hit in the fifth that bounced off of the mound AND the shattered barrel of his own bat, which had spun and flown between the mound and second base. Santana would eventually come around to score the go-ahead run on David Wright's two-out, two-run single, and scored again on Jose Reyes's bases-loaded triple in the sixth.
Santana also threw a career-high 125 pitches, but given the way Pedro Feliciano handled the four-run lead he was handed in the ninth inning, I don't think anyone will question Jerry Manuel's desire to leave Santana out there as long as possible. Santana has now thrown 3,481 pitches this season compared to 3,335 in 2007 and 3,450 in 2006, so he's certainly within his established range. With any luck, the Mets will play competently over the next four days and Santana won't have to come back to pitch the Mets into the playoffs against the Marlins on Sunday.
The Phillies lost at home to the Braves, so the Mets are just a game back in the loss column with five to play. The Brewers came from behind to beat the Pirates, so the Mets' lead in the Wild Card race remains a single game. On Wednesday, Oliver Perez takes on Carlos Zambrano, who will probably only stick around for five innings or so.
Big winners: David Wright, +29.8% WPA, Johan Santana, +15.1% WPA
Big losers: Carlos Beltran, -14.8% WPA, Pedro Feliciano, -2.0% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Wright two-run double, +22.7% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Fukudome RBI double, -10.0% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +16.7%
Total batter WPA: +33.3%
GWRBI: David Wright
Game Thread Roll Call
Nice job by LOUtheMETSfan; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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