Manager Terry Collins made a decision on June 1st that not too many other managers would have had a tough time making. But as manager of the New York Mets, after playing 8,019 games until that point, it was a call that he will have to live with for the rest of this year and possibly beyond. Collins allowed Johan Santana to complete the first no-hitter in New York Mets history in which he threw 134 pitches, walked 5 batters and struck out 8.
The Mets fans and the whole organization was simply elated after getting that monkey off their back and leaving the San Diego Padres as the lone club without a no-no. But looking back, was that the deal with the devil that has now turned the season around in a negative? Just look at the facts. Johan has now posted an ERA of 6.54 since that magical day and has allowed 6 runs or more in his last three starts.
So was that night against the National League’ best hitting team, the St. Louis Cardinals, the game that broke their curse or just the beginning of another one? Santana did not pitch in 2011 while recovering from shoulder surgery and most would argue that after pitching extremely well since the beginning of this season that Collins made the right decision. But ask yourself this Mets fans, would you rather give that game back and have a healthy Johan right now, or was it really worth joy of erasing 50 seasons of futility?
The Mets put Johan Santana on the 15-day DL today supposedly due to an ailing ankle. Is it really the ankle or is his shoulder tired after extending himself during and after the no-hitter? Something tells me that we will never get the straight answer as Collins and GM Sandy Alderson will never want to admit that they made a mistake by allowing Santana to go the distance.
Either way, this season has turned for the worse as all starters except Jonathan Niese have seemed to regress after the All-Star break, and without quality starting pitching, the New York Mets will not be able to compensate in other areas in order to make the playoffs. This deal with the devil on that infamous night of June 1st might have undoubtedly taken their ace and put him back farther on the comeback trail.