The New York Mets defeated the San Diego Padres on Saturday afternoon to tie a season best five games over .500:
Johan Santana started for the Mets and needed just 96 pitches to navigate his way through nine scoreless innings en route to his second win of the season:
ACES UP: Santana absolutely dominated Padre hitters, allowing just four hits — all singles — and striking out seven while never reaching a three-ball count. Following a Chase Headley single to start the second inning, Johan retired the next 16 batters he faced as the Padres managed to place just one runner in scoring position on the afternoon. The 33-year-old southpaw needed just nine pitches in each of the last five innings to record the ninth complete-game shut-out of his career and first since August 12, 2010 versus the Colorado Rockies.
Today, I had better command. The last game I wasn’t able to command [fastball] too well. When you have that command, then it makes my other pitches better. But also you have a team that was very aggressive. It was just a matter of throwing the right pitch and locating it in the right spot.”
THERE IS A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING: Vinny Rottino, who was playing first base on the afternoon, drilled a 2-1 offering from Padres starter Clayton Richard into the new ‘Party City Deck’ in left-centerfield for his first Major League homerun in the bottom of the first inning. The solo blast capped a four-run first for NY, as Scott Hairston delivered a three-run bomb just two batters prior. Following the game, the 32-year-old rookie spoke with reporters, saying:
I was just happy to help the team and contribute to the win. But I was floating around the bases a little bit. I had a little bit of goose bumps running around the bases. It was a cool feeling. …I feel comfortable here. I’ve been called up in September before and you feel part of the team, but not really, you’re just kind of an extra guy. But now, especially contributing today, it’s a good feeling helping the team for sure.”
SLOWLY BUT SURELY: Ike Davis entered the game as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the eighth inning. With one-out and runner in scoring position, Davis delivered an opposite field double plating the Mets fifth run of the game. Ike has now collected a hit in four consecutive games (4-for-9 5 RBI) while driving in a run in a season best three straight games.
My swing feels better. When your swing feels better, you can see the ball a lot better. Before, if I missed the one pitch I thought I could handle, it was like, ‘Oh, God.’ But now, I hope I can keep feeling good, and we’ll see what happens in the next few games.”
“I credit [Sandy Alderson] for sticking by his guns, and I think this kid just got his confidence back,” Collins told reporters after Saturday’s victory. “I think Ike Davis is right now off and running.”
AIN’T THAT GRAND: With the bases full of Mets, catcher Mike Nickeas hit his first career grand-slam and the clubs first since Jason Bay‘s grand salami on September 8th of last season. The four runs batted in marked a career high for the catcher.
HEEV HO THREE-IN-A-ROW?: The Mets will look to make it three-in-a-row tomorrow afternoon at 1:05 pm in Citi Field when they send kncuckle baller R.A. Dickey (6-1, 3.45) to the mound to square off against Edinson Volquez (2-4, 3.49).
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