Santana statistically sharp in mound return

The New York Mets, the recipient of so much bad news over the past couple of seasons, got some good news on Tuesday with the return to the mound of ace starter Johan Santana.

Johan Santana

SantanaSantana, who did not pitch for the Mets in 2011 due to a shoulder injury , threw 29 pitches and allowed one hit in two scoreless innings in the Mets win over the St. Louis Cardinals.

Here’s a quick statistical snapshot of his performance, based on video review data from Inside Edge.

• Santana threw 23 fastballs, ranging from 86 to 89 miles-per-hour, averaging 87. In 2010, Santana’s fastball averaged just over 89 miles-per-hour.

• Santana threw 15 of those 23 fastballs for strikes, including 8-of-9 to left-handed hitters.

• Santana’s other six pitches were four changeups and two sliders and he threw two of his six offspeed pitches for strikes. He typically threw those pitches for strikes about two-thirds of the time in 2009 and 2010.

• Santana got a pair of swings-and-misses- one on an 88-mile-per-hour fastball to Matt Holliday, the other on a 77 mile-per-hour changeup to Yadier Molina that Molina told the media looked like a vintage Santana changeup.

Santana’s changeup historically has been a huge key to his past success. In 2009 and 2010, Santana got 286 swings-and-misses on his changeup, fourth-most of any pitcher in baseball.