Here's what Johan Santana had to say after striking out 11 and limiting the Marlins to one run in 6 2/3 innings as the Mets won, 2-1, on Tuesday night.
New York Mets
On his outing tonight after recording only four outs a full week earlier in Atlanta:
Santana: "I felt really good. Everything was working. It's good to see. I was waiting for this start -- badly. I was able to go deeper in the game and command all of my pitches and feel good."
On going out for the seventh inning at 95 pitches. Santana gave up the lone run that inning. (Terry Collins said afterward that Gaby Sanchez, who had the RBI double, was Santana's last batter regardless since the Mets had resolved to cap his outing at 105 pitches):
"He asked me how I felt. And I told him I felt good. Then I asked him, 'Am I still in?' And then he said, 'Yeah, of course.' So it was good. That's what I'm looking for."
On waiting since last Tuesday for this start, since his last outing was the shortest start of his career:
"It wasn't easy. But, at the same time, I prepared myself pretty well. We did everything that we had to do. I was waiting for tonight. When I got out of the first inning, I was OK. That's good. Now I've got everything going. It took me a couple of innings to establish my fastball in there. And then after that I was able to command the strike zone and throw all of my pitches."
On getting no runs scored for him while he has been on the mound in four starts:
"There's not much I can do. I have to focus on keeping the score right there. And at some point they'll start hitting. It's part of the game. I've been getting tough matchups also. You've got to give credit to Josh Johnson, the way he pitched. But, at the same time, I just have to keep everything there, do my job and hopefully at some point we start hitting and scoring runs."
On the first-inning matchup with Jose Reyes, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis' catch near the wall:
"I knew he's very aggressive, and he's going to do whatever it takes. And I was just trying to see if he would put the ball in play. I was surprised that the ball carried a little bit. He did a great job and made a great play. And it was good. I think that after that I settled down and kept everything there."
On if it was awkward facing a former teammate:
"You know, when he stepped to the plate, I tried not to look at him, because I knew he might make me laugh or something. But we were serious. This is professional baseball. Even though we spent some time together here, we still have to go about our business. I'm pretty sure he was trying to do the same thing. Today I was fortunate enough to get him out."
On being locked in another battle with Josh Johnson. They had a memorable 2-1 battle in Miami, too, when Daniel Murphy had a game-deciding error in left field on April 12, 2009:
"You know when you have a matchup like that it was going to come down to one pitch, one play. That's the way it has been in the past. I knew I had to be aggressive and stay in the game. Otherwise you will lose. It was good. He's doing great. He's coming back from an off-year. I'm doing the same thing. Tonight we did good. We put pressure at the end. It's good to see. Hopefully we'll get better. And I'm pretty sure we'll see more matchups like that."
On taking the ball Sunday at Colorado, in his first start on standard rest this regular season:
"So far, everything has been fine, so I don't think there will be any problems or anything different."
Read what Santana meant to the Mets on Tuesday night in this analysis column.