Sometimes it seems like the Mets are trying to increase the degree of difficulty for themselves when Johan Santana pitches. As in, Could Johan win if we only score one run? Or, Could Johan win if he only pitches seven phenomenal innings, instead of all nine? So when Santana walked off the mound last night after throwing his seventh brilliant inning (two hits, ten strikeouts), the Mets were still not winning, because they had only one hit and no runs themselves.
But as hard as the offense tried to screw this one up for Johan, the Phillies simply wouldn’t allow them to go scoreless for another inning. Pedro Feliz’s seventh-inning throwing error — and it was a spectacularly bad throwing error — allowed Carlos Delgado to score all the way from first, just an inning after the Mets failed to get Jose Reyes in from third after two other Phillies errors.
This isn’t to harp on the bad, by the way. In one sense, this game went exactly as the Mets drew it up in the offseason: Johan gave them the slimmest of leads, and the bullpen threw two scoreless innings to protect it. Santana remained undefeated in his career against Philly, and in doing so gave the Mets their first three-game winning streak of the season. Our only concern is this: Now that Santana has lowered his ERA to a ridiculous 0.91, the Mets really may think they only need one run a game when he’s on the mound.