ATLANTA, GA - APRIL 17: Josh Thole #30 of the New York Mets converses with Johan Santana #57 during the second inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on April 17, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Johan Santana endured his first poor start of the season tonight. And boy was it a stinker. He lasted just 1.1 innings, allowing six runs on four hits with no strikeouts. The second inning saw his undoing. He gave up four hits and a walk in the frame, and was eventually relieved by Miguel Batista. It was the shortest start of Santana's brilliant career and arguably his worst game as a Met.
The Mets' defense did little to help their man Johan. Jason Bay dropped a catchable fly ball in the first inning, allowing leadoff hitter Michael Bourn to reach second base. Bourn later scored on a Chipper Jones sacrifice fly. Ike Davis made a throwing error in the disastrous second inning in the middle of a Braves hit parade. Braves pitcher Randall Delgado dropped a sacrifice bunt with Tyler Pastornicky on second and no outs, and Ike uncorked an errant throw to third base, allowing Pastornicky to score and Delgado to reach second base. Santana then induced a groundout from Bourn, but was pulled following a Jason Heyward RBI single.
The Mets' answered in the fourth inning with RBI singles by Josh Thole and Mike Baxter to make it 6-2. It looked like a comeback was in the works when David Wright singled and Ike walked with one out in the fifth inning. However, Bay and Lucas Duda both struck out to end the threat. Daniel Murphy singled home Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the sixth inning to give the Mets their third run but the offense shut it down after that.
Batista, Ramon Ramirez, and Manny Acosta were so-so in mop-up duty. Batista had his first useful appearance of the season, throwing 1.2 scoreless innings. Ramirez continued to struggle, allowing two runs on two hits. Manny Acosta gave up a solo home run to Juan Francisco in his three innings of work.