Mets morning briefing 5.27.12

An amazing start by Johan Santana and a strong showing by the Mets' offense led to a 9-0 win over the Padres Saturday afternoon at Citi Field.

Sunday's news reports:

• Read game recaps in the Post, New York Daily News, Star-Ledger, The Record and New York Times.

• Santana tossed a complete game shutout in the win, his first since the 2010 season.

• Catcher Mike Nickeas hit the first grand slam of his career in the eighth inning Saturday. His homer was one of three on the day for the Mets that was aided by the new dimensions at Citi Field. Read more about the dimensions in the Star-Ledger.

Ike Davis sat Saturday but will be in the lineup Sunday and Monday.

Vinny Rottino hit his first career home run Saturday. He's been in and out of the majors since 2006.

George Willis of the New York Post writes about the underdog Mets' successful season to this point. Writes Willis:

The Mets (26-21) have been cast as a team of young players too raw and green to know they’re not supposed to be winning. They are hungry and fearless and play the game with the passion of Little Leaguers who want to get their uniforms dirty. It’s a valid assessment. But this season only becomes special if the two guys driving the little engine, namely Wright and Santana, play like stars.

Bill Madden of the New York Daily News writes how manager Terry Collins has pulled all the right strings for the Mets thus far this season. Writes Madden:

The depleted San Diego Patsies . . . er Padres . . . are in town this holiday weekend, and with lefty Clayton Richard, the best pitcher remaining in a rotation otherwise annihilated by injuries, on the hill Saturday, Terry Collins decided this might be a good day to showcase his bench.

When it came to making out his lineup, however, Collins apparently eschewed a pen in favor of a magic wand.

Steve Serby of the New York Post sat down for his weekly question-and-answer session with third baseman David Wright.

Bob Klapisch of The Record writes that despite the strong start, the Mets have not seen a rise in attendance. Writes Klapisch:

For now, the Mets will settle for respectability in the East and winning back their fan base. Last year, they drew only 2.4 million, which meant 40 percent of their supporters had either retreated to their TV sets or stopped paying altogether. So far this year, attendance is down another 2 percent, but team officials are hopeful of a surge once school gets out and the team proves its prosperity is no illusion.

• Former Mets general manager Omar Minaya told the New York Post's Mark Hale that he's enjoying his new role with the Padres and has been impressed with the Mets' start.

TRIVIA: Reliever Jack Egbert is the second Met to be born in Staten Island. Who's the other one?

SATURDAY'S ANSWER: The Mets were tied with the Padres for the most doubles in the national league entering Saturday with 88.