Johan Santana reacts Friday night to the ace's removal after eight innings.
Before Saturday's game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Jerry Manuel further explained his decision to remove Johan Santana from Friday night's game after 105 pitches and eight scoreless innings. The Mets lost in the ninth, 2-0, when Ryota Igarashi served up a two-run homer to Corey Hart.
Manuel said that when Santana recorded the final out of the eighth on a strikeout of Carlos Gomez, the ace was overly excited on the mound. The manager indicated those sorts of demonstrative showings, such as a fist pumps, are often telltale signs that a pitcher has expended his last burst of energy and is ready to be removed.
Manuel also reiterated that Prince Fielder, who led off the ninth, had nearly homered against Santana the previous at-bat. And, Manuel added, it's often better not to "whip" a marquee player during the season's first half, so that he has that type of effort left down the stretch.