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Cardinals 2, Mets 1: Johan Is A Man

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March 21, 2012; Jupiter, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Johan Santana (57) throws in the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals during a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE
March 21, 2012; Jupiter, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Johan Santana (57) throws in the sixth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals during a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Johan Santana bounced back from a poor start last Friday with his best effort of the spring. He pitched six innings, allowing one run on six hits -- all singles -- with six strikeouts and no walks. Plus, he faced the varsity Cardinals lineup that included Carlos Beltran, Matt Holliday, David Freese and Lance Berkman. Of his 69 pitches, 48 were strikes. It was the kind of performance that warrants a jump on the 150+ innings, 3.25 ERA delusion train. But if we excuse crap spring training performance, we can't go too nuts celebrating superlative spring training performance. Johan is a man, a man who hopefully wakes up tomorrow without feeling much pain.

The Mets' lineup was largely shut down by Cardinals pitching, with Jake Westbrook throwing six shutout innings while allowing just three hits. Jordany Valdespin cracked a game-tying solo home run in the top of the ninth inning off Fernando Salas to account for the Mets' only run. Salas was handed a vulture win when Jon Jay hit a game-winning RBI single off Garrett Olson in the bottom of the ninth.

With Andres Torres and Scott Hairston sidelined by injury, Valdespin will see some time in center field on Friday against the Braves, according to Terry Collins. It's worth a shot, as Valdespin is a terrific athlete. Anything to prevent the long laughed about Jason Bay-in-center-field last resort.

The Mets play the Astros in Port St. Lucie tomorrow at 1:10pm. The game will be televised on SNY.

Nice job by astromets; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.

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