Johan Santana dug a hole and pushed his teammates into it, giving up six runs on eight hits in the first inning. His ERA/FIP/xFIP at the start of the game was 2.79/3.47/4.64, so some ERA regression was expected, even for a guy like Johan who has historically outperformed his peripherals. Mets batters -- the good Mets batters, that is -- didn't pack it in, scoring seven runs in regulation to send it into extra innings. Unfortunately, the hits stopped coming in overtime, and Albert Pujols hit an RBI single in the top of the thirteenth to put the Cardinals ahead for good.
I'm listening to Bob Ojeda on SNY talk about how this game is a positive. On one level I agree -- the comeback was nice to see. (Although I'm confused as to how a team afflicted with Carlos Beltran and his negative vibes showed such resilience. I thought his mere presence brought the team down? No?) On another level, this was a game they needed to win. Walk machine Mike MacDougal pitched the twelfth inning for the Cards and sent the Mets down 1-2-3 without allowing so much as a line drive. Kudos to the following players tonight:
- Carlos Beltran -- 2-5 with a home run and a walk. It's his first bomb since last Sept. 26.
- Angel Pagan -- 2-5 with a home run and a walk. Just like his mentor.
- David Wright -- 3-6.
- Jose Reyes -- 3-6 with a walk.
When the Mets lose, it's less annoying if the best players come through. Such was the case tonight.
Poem by Howard Megdal
For once, a Johan start is supported
Even though his great July was aborted
Mets rallied from six runs down, raising hopes
But fall short, making us fans feel like dopes
I love free baseball, but life sure is bleak
When Mets lose three marathon games in a week