Meet the Mets
Let's get this one out of the way quickly: Johan Santana just didn't have it in yesterday's 9-3 defeat at the hands of the Braves. You may have been able to surmise this from a quick look at the score. Santana allowed 6 runs in just 1.1 innings, the shortest start of his big league career, and while he certainly wasn't helped out by his defense, the Braves peppered line drives all over the field when he was on the hill. Down six runs after an inning and a half, the Mets offense had trouble mustering much off of Braves' starter Randall Delgado. They scratched out two runs in the fourth inning on Josh Thole and Mike Baxter RBI singles but the comeback attempt proved futile, as Ramon Ramirez managed to give those runs right back in the 5th inning. In regards to his brief outing, Santana said afterward that his arm felt fine, though he did have some pregame jitters based on the fact that Turner Field was the place where he injured his arm late in 2010. As long as Johan's arm feels good, let's just give him a mulligan on this outing. You have to figure that returning from major shoulder surgery, you're going to hit some bumps in the road anyway. Let's hope, for the team's sake, that this outing ends up being his worst bump in 2012.
The Mets and Braves square off at Turner Field in the rubber game of their series this afternoon. This one's an early affair, featuring a 12:10 PM start. R.A. Dickey throws for the Mets and he'll be opposed by righty Jair Jurrjens for the Braves. You can catch all of the action locally on SNY and WFAN 660.
Prior to Tuesday's game, there was plenty of positive buzz regarding Santana's start to the season and rightly so. The man had thrown two excellent starts, was striking out batters at a ridiculous clip and was/is feeling healthy. So healthy, that Terry Collins decided that the team will let Santana pitch on regular rest instead of using a spot starter to give him an extra day off.
Down in Port St. Lucie, Andres Torres continues to rehab his calf back into shape but he's still not ready to sprint at full-speed. It looks like he'll be down there a little while longer but Terry Collins made sure to stress on Tuesday that the center field job still belongs to Torres once he returns.
There continues to be plenty of talk about the Mets' quick start. At Baseball Nation, Marc Normandin wonders whether the Mets can keep surprising us. Meanwhile, Howard Megdal examines how a 7-3 start could help the team and SNY's Ted Berg does something similar, as he wonders if maybe the Mets are actually good. Adam Rubin points out that when the Mets have started a season 7-3, good things typically happen.
Remember that flashy shortstop who the Mets signed and developed and we watched hit triples all over the park before he signed on the dotted line with a division rival? Well, the Mets will be giving that young man a video tribute when he returns to Citi Field for the first time next Tuesday and some fans are up in arms. Of course, a large faction of the fanbase enjoys getting up in arms about nearly everything and anything the team does, so maybe it's just best to ignore those folks. The Mets say that they're being consistent with the treatment of Reyes' return, pointing out that they even made a video tribute for the return of Todd Pratt way back when. At least Pratt has a signature moment (the 1999 NLDS home run against the Diamondbacks). I wonder what they could have shown during Dennis Cook's tribute video. Maybe it's just a montage of Dennis Cook's angry face (he always looked angry to me).
Toby Hyde took a look at some of the early season story lines down at AAA Buffalo and AA Binghamton. In other minor league news, MLB finalized the order for the 2012 amateur draft. Nothing groundbreaking here, as the Mets' first pick is #12 overall as expected. They should be able to stock the system up with some high level talent, as they have 5 of the top 107 picks in the draft, two of those thanks to Reyes' defection to the Marlins.
A supreme court justice who says she's a Mets fan decided to go all #LOLMets.
Around the NL East
Ozzie Guillen made his return to the Marlins' dugout and the Fish went on to defeat the Cubs 5-2 behind seven solid innings from Josh Johnson and a go-ahead home run off the bat of Hanley Ramirez. M-A-R-L-I-N-S! We are the Marlins, GO FISH!
The new look Nationals continue to roll along, as they beat the Astros 1-0 behind the pitching of Gio Gonzalez. The lefty tossed 7 shutout innings with 8 strikeouts as the Nats improved to a division leading 9-3.
In a battle of all pitching/no offense teams, the Phillies fell to the Giants 4-2 in San Francisco. Joe Blanton allowed four runs over 5 innings and Madison Bumgarner slowed down the Phils offense, allowing just 2 runs in 6 innings.
Around the Majors
If you're reading this site, you likely have an understanding of how useless W/L record is in determining the worth of a pitcher. However, in this case, I think wins are pretty cool: Jamie Moyer became the oldest pitcher to win a game in Major League history, at 49 years and 150 days, in the Rockies' 5-3 victory over the Padres on Tuesday.
The Rangers have an excellent offense. The Red Sox have a suspect pitching staff. Put those two together and you get an absolute torching by the Rangers, as they lit up the Red Sox 18-3 at Fenway Park. Mike Napoli hit a pair of home runs and Sox reliever Mark Melancon continued his early season struggles, allowing 6 runs on four hits and two walks, courtesy of three (3!!!) home runs without retiring a single batter. The outing boosted Melancon's 2012 ERA to a hearty 49.50, as he's allowed 11 runs on 10 hits (5 of them home runs) in just 2 innings (4 appearances).
This is a great piece from MLB.com on USS Mariner/Fangraphs' Dave Cameron and his battle with Leukemia. It's a long one but certainly well worth the read.
What's up with Tim Lincecum? The righty hasn't looked right out of the gate so far but history shows that perhaps everything will be okay.