Why Mets starter Johan Santana won:
- Great offspeed stuff (threw 71 percent for strikes; hitters went 1-14, 4 K and chased 39 percent out of the strike zone).
- Stayed ahead in the count: Threw 70 percent first-pitch strikes (MLB avg: 58) and went to three 2-0 counts and two 3-ball counts against 27 hitters.
- Improved efficiency: 21 of 27 hitters (78 percent) saw four pitches or fewer (MLB avg: 65).
That is a great trifecta there. Johan isn't the pitcher that dominated the league like he was with the Twins, but he is an intelligent warrior, who hates to lose, and seems to always find a way to keep his team in the game, even when he doesn't have has best fastball velocity (which was the case again last night).
Also, Adam Rubin, from ESPN New York, is reporting that Jose Reyes will bat 3rd versus the Braves this weekend in an effort to jump-start Jason Bay. Maybe this will create the "length" that Jerry Manuel keeps talking about.