Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Disappointment In Johan For the Birds, Not the Monkeys

Johan Santana wasn't dominant last night, but he gave the Mets what they needed. He's done that pretty much every start so far. The bullpen blew two wins for him. The Mets couldn't hit John Smoltz and Santana was tagged with a loss despite pitching 7 innings and allowing one run. He could easily be 9-2 at this point. He is still on pace for 18 wins. Still, the monkeys hear fans that are disappointed.

The fact is Santana is doing what he's always done. His lifetime ERA in April is 4.01. His lifetime ERA in May is 4.07. Look at his splits in most of his better years:

2006 First Half: 2.94 ERA
Second Half: 2.54 ERA

2005: First Half: 3.98 ERA
Second Half: 1.59 ERA

2004: First Half ERA: 3.78 ERA
Second Half ERA: 1.21 ERA

We hear quotes from unnamed scouts that his velocity is down. It is slightly, but not nearly as much as some people would have you believe. The only people or reporters who are disappointed are the ones who didn't educate themselves. He has done exactly what he has always done. In fact, he's done better.

If he doesn't perform in the second half or if he winds up 15-13 with a 4.00 ERA then feel free to be disappointed. Santana has a long enough track record of getting better as the year goes on to earn the benefit of the doubt from the monkeys.


The Mets have started to follow the monkeys' recommendation of a straight platoon with Schneider and Castro with positive results. The monkeys also want the Mets to continue benching Delgado against lefties. Delgado has a .235 OBP against lefties this season. He is a major liability in the field so why play him when he makes such a limited offensive contribution?

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