When Johan Santana didn't come out for the ninth inning against the Phillies, and the Mets eventually lost, everyone was screaming about "Why didn't Johan demand to come back into the game?!?"
This time around, when it was 9-1, Johan stayed in the game...and he's still getting blasted in the media.
From Filip Bondy, someone I usually enjoy reading, entitled "Johan Santana going nine in rout doesn't make complete sense":
And so the most important and expensive pitcher on the Mets' staff went out and threw some unnecessary fastballs Sunday in the ninth. If you're a message kind of guy, you were applauding his gutsy show. If you're more of a pitch-count realist, you were horrified at the illogic of it all. Manuel only intended to allow Santana to reach 115 pitches, but then there were two outs and the complete game was too close to sabotage.Well, he only went up to 118, not far off from the 115 tipping point. He started the 8th inning with only 81 pitches. 81! But more importantly, he saved the bullpen that used every pitcher while throwing nine inning of relief nearly 12 hours earlier.
What does Santana have to do in this town to prove himself? Go out, throw a no hitter through seven innings (limiting himself to only three pitches per batter, mind you), hand the ball over to the bullpen and call it a day?
This is getting sad. Johan Santana is damned if he doesn't beg and plead with Jerry Manuel to go out for the ninth inning one day, but when he does, even with an 8 run lead, and the chance to give the bullpen a well needed day off, he's damned again.
Lay off this guy, please. Sure, he has the biggest contract of any pitcher to date, but his last two starts have been simply spectacular. His ERA is 2.93, good for 6th in the league, he's #3 in the league for innings pitched, and he's top 10 or close in nearly every other pitching category.
He's the ace of this staff. He's a stud pitcher, and there is no denying that. Let him go out, earn his money, and help this team as much as possible. He can do it, he's a veteran, one of the best in the league.
Give me a break.