The bad-luck run of former Twins continued Wednesday night, when the Mets shut down former All-Everything pitcher Johan Santana, with inflammation in his lower back. Considering the extent of Santana's comeback, it's surprising enough he got this far, something Santana acknowledged himself.
"The doctor said it's been a long, long season for me, and I can feel it," Santana said. "It gets to a point where something is not right."
The consensus Wednesday night was that Santana's no-hitter was dividing line in his season. So, asks Matthew Pouliot of Hardball Talk, was it worth it? Pouliot votes yes, especially since the Mets escaped their notoriety of not having a no-hitter. And, to get anything from Santana, let alone a no-hitter, was more than anyone ever expected.
Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal says don't blame the no-hitter, even as Terry Collins almost made himself cry as he asked Santana to throw 134 pitches. The bigger question: Can Santana bounce back and make it through an entire season, as a 34-year-old making $25.3 million? He didn't pitch in 2011, and his 2009 and 2010 seasons ended early, too.
Jeff Roberts of the Record looks at that, with the help of Dr. Vincent McInerney, an orthopedic surgeon. McInerney cites the no-hitter as a possible cause and wonders if Santana hasn't started "an injury pattern."
Still, Santana is happy where things ended up, Roberts said. “There were a lot of question marks in the beginning of the season, and we didn’t know how the shoulder would react,” he said. “… Overall I feel good, because when we were in December, I didn’t know if I was going to pitch in the beginning of the season.”
Two former Twins pitchers have escaped the black cat that has cursed so many of their former teammates. Kyle Lohse got his ... 13th win Wednesday. OK, his (lucky) seventh consecutive victory, against the anonymous Houston Astros. Along with some assistance from center fielder Jon Jay, Lohse helped himself by not walking anyone.
And Santana's teammate, R.A. Dickey has succeeded with his knuckleball that failed to flutter in the Metrodome. He got a no-decision in the Mets' 3-1 loss Tuesday. Dickey has 15 wins and likely seven more starts in the season. The New York Post notes his quest to be the first Met to win 20 games since former Twin Frank Viola might ride on the hopes of the Mets' shaky bullpen.