Mets vs. Braves Preview: Game #114 — Johan Santana vs. Kris Medlen

Hoping for a return to form.

Today's game notes, courtesy of @Mets.

Teams: Mets vs. Braves
Date: Saturday, August 11, 2012 • 7:10 p.m
Location: Citi Field • Flushing, NY
Starters: RHP Kris Medlen (2-1, 2.37) vs. LHP Johan Santana (6-7, 3.98)
TV/Radio: SNY • WFAN • WQBU
Info: Game #114 • Home Game #57

Lineup

Ruben Tejada - SS
Daniel Murphy - 2B
David Wright - 3B
Ike Davis - 1B
Scott Hairston - LF
Mike Baxter - RF
Andres Torres - CF
Josh Thole - C
Johan Santana - LHP

METS AT A GLANCE: The Mets have lost 10 of their last 11 home games...Overall, New York has lost five of its seven games...New York is 4-6 in its last 10 games...The Mets are 8-19 since the All-Star break.

ROSTER MOVE: Before tonight’s game, the Mets will activate left-handed pitcher Johan Santana from the 15-Day Disabled List... Santana threw 3.0 scoreless innings vs. Auburn on Sunday for Brooklyn (A) of the New York-Penn League...He allowed one hit, one walk and had three strikeouts...Santana threw 38 pitches - 29 for strikes in the game and then threw 3.0 additional simulated innings in the bullpen, throwing 90 pitches total...Santana was placed on the 15-Day Disabled List on July 21 with a sprained right ankle...Santana is 6-7 with a 3.98 ERA (49 earned runs/110.2 innings) in 19 starts for New York this year...The Mets will make a corresponding roster move before the game.

SECOND-HALF SANTANA: Johan Santana has the second-best winning percentage (65-25, .722) in the second half in major league history (min. 800 innings pitched)...He also has the 12th-best second half ERA (2.86) in major league history...Santana is 15-8 with a 3.03 ERA (80 earned runs/238.0 innings) with the Mets (2008-present) in the second half.

AT HOME: The Mets are 27-29 at home this year...Daniel Murphy ranks fourth in the majors with a .357 batting average at home.

METS VS. NL EAST: The Mets began the year 13-5 against the National League East but are 7-18 over their last 25 games vs. the division.

VS. ATLANTA: New York opened the season with a three-game sweep of the Braves at home...The Mets are 1-6 vs. Atlanta since that opening series.

TRAILING AFTER ONE: The Mets dropped to 7-21 when they trail after the first inning…The Braves took a 2-0 lead into the second inning last night…In comparison, the Mets are 25-2 if they lead after one.

SATURDAY: Daniel Murphy owns the highest batting average (.438, 28-64) in the majors on Saturdays (min. 50 at-bats)...New York is 11-7 on Saturdays...The 11 wins are tied for the eighth-most in the majors.

DANIEL MURPHY: Has the fourth-highest batting average (.370, 50-135) in the majors since June 27 (min. 128 plate appearances)...He is tied for the most doubles (15) during that span...Murphy has scored 19 runs, collected two triples, four home runs and has 21 in these 37 games during that span.

RUBEN TEJADA: Had his career-high 14-game hitting streak snapped last night...Tejada’s .319 batting average is the highest among all major league shortstops (min. 260 at-bats)...Tejada has the second-highest on-base percentage (.366)...Tejada’s 14-game hitting streak was the longest by a Mets shortstop other than Jose Reyes since 1996, when Rey Ordonez hit safely in 14 consecutive games in April 1996.

DAVID WRIGHT: Ranks third in the majors with a .417 on-base percentage, seventh with a .324 batting average and is tied for seventh with 33 doubles...Wright is tied for sixth in the National League with 73 RBI and is tied for eighth with 68 runs scored...Wright is one home run shy of becoming the third player in franchise history to reach the 200 home run plateau...Darryl Strawberry (252) and Mike Piazza (220) are the others...Wright is also two RBI shy of 800 for his career.

STARTERS/RELIEVERS: Mets starters rank eighth in the majors with a 3.86 ERA...New York’s bullpen has the worst ERA (4.98) in the majors.

HARVEY HISTORY: Matt Harvey recorded three strikeouts last night and has 26 strikeouts over his first four major league games, which is tied for the most in franchise history with Dick Selma in 1965 and Dwight Gooden in 1984.

JON RAUCH: Retired the only batter he faced last night...Rauch has allowed one run over his last 16 appearances, spanning 11.2 innings (0.77 ERA) dating back to June 28...Rauch has yielded five hits, issued two walks and notched five strikeouts during that stretch.

RISP: The Mets went 0-3 with runners in scoring position last night and are 10-56 (.179) over their last seven games...The Mets are hitting .259 with RISP on the season, ranking 11th in the majors ...The Mets are hitting .276 with runners in scoring position and two outs, the second-highest average in the majors.

TWO-OUTS: The Mets have scored 18 of their last 24 runs with two outs...New York leads the majors with 225 two-out runs this year...New York is hitting .269 with two outs, the third-highest average in the majors ...New York’s pitching staff has surrendered 205 runs with two outs, the fourth-most in the majors.

DOUBLE PLAYS: The Mets have turned six double plays in their last six games...New York has grounded into eight double plays in its last seven games...The Mets have grounded into 85 double plays and turned 86 double plays.

HOME RUNS: The Mets have surrendered seven home runs so far on their current homestand (four games), including six that are “new” Citi Field home runs or that would not have cleared the fences last season...Overall, the Mets have hit 14 “new” Citi Field home runs and allowed 19...The Mets are tied for 23rd in the majors with 97 home runs and have allowed 113 home runs, ranking 16th in the majors.

FIELD MAINTENANCE CLINIC: The Baseball Tomorrow Fund, Mets, SNY and Citi earlier today hosted a field maintenance clinic at Citi Field for Tri-State area youth baseball and softball organizations...The two-hour clinic featured discussion on infield maintenance, mound and home plate management, game day preparation and turf management...Grant recipients from SNY’s “Play Ball, presented by Citi” initiative and BTF grant recipients attended.

IKE DAVIS CHARITY EVENT: Ike Davis will host his annual charity event “A Night with Ike Davis” at City Winery in New York City on September 9 at 7 p.m...The event will benefit Solving Kids’ Cancer and the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative, will feature a concert by country music star Lee Brice, a four-time Academy of Country Music nominee ...Davis lost his childhood friend, Mike Lio to Ewing’s Sarcoma at age 22 and has devoted his efforts to raise funds and awareness for cancer research.

LAST START: Took the loss in the Mets’ 7-6 defeat against the Dodgers at Citi Field on July 20...Allowed six runs, earned, and seven hits in 3.0 innings pitched...Walked three and struck out five...Following the start, Santana was placed on the 15-Day Disabled List with a right ankle sprain.

RECENT STRUGGLES: Santana’s last three starts mark the first time in his career that he has allowed at least six earned runs in three consecutive starts...The last time that Santana allowed at least six earned runs in back-to-back starts wasApril 12, 2000 vs. the Red Sox at Fenway Park andApril 22, 2000 vs. the Rangers at The Ballpark in Arlington...Those were Santana’s second and third starts of his rookie season as a Twin.

SINCE NO-HITTER: In eight starts since Santana hurled the first no-hitter in Mets’ history on June 1 vs. the Cardinals, the left-hander has gone 3-5 with a 6.54 ERA (31 earned runs/42.2 innings pitched) ...Over that span, Santana has surrendered 11 home runs, more than twice the amount he allowed through his first 11 starts of the season (four home runs).

HOME STRIKEOUTS: Despite missing nearly three weeks due to injury, Santana’s 63 strikeouts at home are good enough to tie him with Jeff Samardzija for 18th-best among National League pitchers...The 63 punchouts trail only R.A. Dickey’s 81 Citi Field K’s among Mets pitchers.

WHIFFLE BALL: Opponents are swinging and missing Santana’s pitches at a 26.5% rate in 2012, good enough for the sixth-highest percentage among National League hurlers...Only Tim Lincecum (SF, 28.7%), Stephen Strasburg (WAS, 27.6%), Cole Hamels (PHI, 27.2%), Edwin Jackson (WAS, 26.9%), and Edinson Volquez (26.6%) boast a higher percentage.

BRAVES BLUES: Santana’s eight lifetime losses against Atlanta mark the left-hander’s career high against any opponent...In his last five starts against the Braves dating to August 2, 2010, Santana is 1-3 with a 5.79 ERA (15 earned runs/23.1 innings pitched)...Furthermore, Braves batters are hitting Santana at a .273 clip for his career, the second-highest opponent batting average against the former Cy Young award winner among teams against which he’s made more than one start...The San Francisco Giants rank first on that list with a .274 batting average.

WINLESS IN DIVISION: In six starts against NL East opponents in 2012, Santana is 0-3 with a 4.66 ERA (15 earned runs/ 29.0 innings pitched)...Two of those losses have come against the Braves...Since becoming a full time starting pitcher in 2004, Santana has never gone winless in his division...The southpaw’s only losing divisional record came in 2007 when he went 5-9 in AL Central play while a member of the Minnesota Twins.

METS COMPLETE GAMES: Since his trade to the Mets prior to the 2008 season, Santana’s nine complete games (two this season) tie him with Cliff Lee (PHI), Cole Hamels (PHI), andAdam Wainwright (STL) for third-most among National League pitchers...Matt Cain’s (SF) 12 complete games rank second, while Roy Halladay (PHI) leads the NL with 17 complete games during that stretch, despite only having played in the NL since 2010.

RISP: Santana has held hitters to a .220 (18-82) batting average with runners in scoring position this season...Has limited opponents to a .146 (6-41) batting average with two outs in such situations...In his July 15 start vs. the Braves at Turner Field, hitters were .429 (3-7) with runners in scoring position, and .500 (2-4) in those spots with two outs.

EARNED RUN AVERAGE: Santana’s career ERA of 3.15 (707 earned runs/2019.1 innings pitched) is currently the third-best mark in the majors among active pitchers with at least 1,000 innings pitched, trailing only Adam Wainwright’s 3.11 ERA (352 earned runs/1019.2 innings pitched) and Mariano Rivera’s 2.21 ERA (300 earned runs/1219.2 innings pitched).

NO-HAN: Johan Santana’s first career no-hitter on June 1st vs. the Cardinals marked the first no-hitter by a National League pitcher since the Phillies’ Roy Halladay in Game One of the 2010 NLDS vs. Cincinnati...The previous five no-hitters were in the American League...Santana’s previous low-hit complete game was a three-hitter, done five times in his career, last on August 12, 2010 vs. Colorado.

LAST WIN VS. ATLANTA: Picked up the win in the Mets’ 4-2 victory on September 2, 2010...The start marked his last before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery on September 14, subsequently forcing the southpaw to miss the entire 2011 campaign...Allowed one run, earned, and three hits before leaving the game with shoulder discomfort after 5.0 innings pitched...Walked one and struck out three.

LAST LOSS VS. ATLANTA: Lost, 6-1, on July 15 at Turner Field...Allowed six runs, earned, and eight hits over 5.0 innings of work...Walked two and struck out three. Career vs. Atlanta: In 15 career games, all starts, Santana is 3-8 with a 2.99 ERA (30 earned runs/90.1 innings pitched) vs. the Braves.

KEY MATCHUPS:

  • Matt Diaz - .514 (19-37, HR, 5 2B, 4 RBI, BB, 4 K)
  • Reed Johnson - .516 (16-31, 2 HR, 2 2B, 3B, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K)
  • Dan Uggla - .048 (1-21, HR, 2 BB, 12 K)
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