If there were any lingering question over whether Johan Santana is fully recovered from his shoulder surgery, they were answered on Saturday as he pitched a complete game shutout against the Padres.
The Mets teed-off on Clayton Richard early — with two on in the first Scott Hairston launched a three-run homer to left, and Vinny Rottino hit a solo shot; the first home run of his career as the Mets took a 4-0 lead.
This is an example of why the Mets brought in and lowered the fence in left field. Both of those balls were well struck and neither would have been home runs in the old Citi Field configuration. Instead, they would have hit that high stupid wall. These balls deserved to be home runs and it illustrates how unfair the old dimensions were.
The Mets made it 5-0 in the eighth when Ike Davis, pinch hitting because he did not start against another lefty, doubled to center to drive in Justin Turner. Davis is now 3-5 in this series with five RBIs, another sign that his season-long slump may be ending. Later in the inning Mike Nickeas added topper with a grand slam to put the game away, 9-0. It was the first grand slam by the Mets this season.
Santana was simply brilliant. He allowed just four hits and struck out seven while walking no one. He needed only 96 pitches to finish the job. It’s his first complete game and shutout since August 2010, but that is a bit deceiving because he missed most of September 2010 all of 2011. So really, it’s his first complete game and shutout in less than three pitching months.
In any case, it is great to see the Santana of old, as the Mets cruise to the 9-0 victory.