Johan Santana had a vintage outing as he dominated the Padres with a complete-game shutout in a 9-0 Mets win Saturday afternoon at Citi Field.
WINNING FOR JOHAN: While Santana had been just 1-2 despite pitching to a 3.24 ERA entering Saturday, the team was 4-5 in his outings, which is not a good record considering how well Santana had pitched. While the Mets are off to a great start, they'd be even better if they could have turned a couple more of Santana's starts into wins.
Facing a weak San Diego lineup, Santana kept the hitters off-balance and the Padres managed to put just one runner in scoring position during the game. The Padres hit very few balls hard, and Santana had no problem breezing through the innings. It easily marked his best start of the year as he surrendered just four hits, one of which was a bloop that should have been caught.
Santana entered the ninth having thrown just 86 pitches, so there was no tough decision when it came to sending him back out there to finish what he started. It's his first complete game since Aug. 22, 2010 against Pittsburgh, and his first complete-game shutout since Aug. 12, 2010 versus Colorado. He evened his record at 2-2.
RIGHT ON: To counter lefty Clayton Richard, Terry Collins stacked his lineup with right-handers and it proved to be effective. Scott Hairston blasted a three-run homer in the first inning, and two batters later Vinny Rottino smacked his first career homer. The Mets took the early lead and never looked back in a dominating win.
GRAND DAY: Catcher Mike Nickeas hit his first career grand slam as part of a five-run eighth that gave the Mets a 9-0 lead. He hit it just over the wall in left, a home run due to the new dimensions here at Citi Field. It was the team's first grand slam of the season.
THREE FOR IKE: Ike Davis has now driven in a run in a season-best three straight games after his RBI double in the eighth made it 5-0. Davis is now 4-for-9 in the past four games and has been more productive since the team told him he's not being demoted to Triple-A Buffalo. He has 20 RBIs and boosted his batting average to .173.
NEW CITI: All three of the Mets' home runs were aided by the new Citi Field dimensions that make the stadium more hitter-friendly.
BATTLE FOR .400: Wright walked and scored in the first inning, but finished 0-for-3 and his average has dipped down to .390. Wright is 0-for-6 in the past two games.
CEDENO LEAVES: Shortstop Ronny Cedeno left the game in the eighth with an apparent leg injury.
UP NEXT: The Mets will attempt to take three of four from the Padres when R.A. Dickey (6-1, 3.45) opposing Edinson Volquez (2-4, 3.49) on Sunday at 1:10 p.m.