Johan Santana's Tuesday night start was the shortest of his career. Over the course of throwing fifty-five pitches, he recorded only four outs. When he left the game, the Mets found themselves in a 6-0 hole.
Despite the fact that Santana's outing was hampered by two errors behind him, Johan was not sharp. The Braves hit him early and often, driving the ball to the opposite field on multiple occasions. Ultimately, Terry Collins correctly removed his ace in the second inning in an effort to avoid overworking him when the game was in all likelihood already lost.
Following the game, it was confirmed that there was no immediate health concern for Johan, who is only 11 1/3 innings into his comeback from shoulder surgery. However, this will be the final time Santana is afforded an extra day of rest between starts. How he responds to this latest, not so positive outing, could effect the route the organization takes in managing his starts moving forward.
Should Johan falter again, there will be significant and warranted concern amongst both the team and its fans. If he is able to rebound with his third quality outing in four starts, then last night will feel like nothing more than a bump in the road.
In all likelihood, there will be a number of these situations this season. Can he respond? Will he respond? This is the first of many nerve racking waiting games we'll play with Johan this season. All eyes are on him!