Johan Santana Does Terrible Job of Being Better than Roy Halladay


ESPN!  Nothing like throwing on the tux and getting some national exposure.

One day after locking his jaws on the Mets’ jugular and refusing to let go until he had a 10-run deficit, Doc sat in the dugout tonight, not the focus of attention.  They of course cut to him every now and then as Jon Miller and Joe Morgan doddered on about trains and being on them and Orel Hershiser frantically name dropped to keep his memories alive, almost as if to remind us:

Roy’s watching.

Tonight, Johan Santana strode out to the mound, surely confident that the three-run lead needling Jamie Moyer after only half an inning was going to be the start of some serious trouble for the old man.  After all, he’s the ace, and the best pitcher in the division.

Phillies 11, Mets 5

Ignore that score.

Its dead cat season in Philadelphia, a time of year that, kind of like baseball, never really ends.  But, also like baseball, it is at its most evident during the summer.

With the temperature (in my apartment) hitting almost 90 degrees today, we are about to be in a three month long battle with street-scents so pungent, so invasive, that even the guy running the crack house down the street from me can smell it, and he’s missing a nostril.  The stench of boiling cat guts in the afternoon sun wafts through screen doors and open windows, bringing hot breaths of Philadelphia into countless homes uninvited.

Unlike the carcasses surrounding them, the Phillies have chosen to start showing signs of life, and their timing couldn’t have been better.  These Mets, they’re up to something.  I don’t like it.

Trotting out their ace to go head to head with Jamie Moyer was dangerous water, and when David Wright punched a dinger in the first for three runs, everybody but Jamie Moyer thought it was going to be a long night.

Fortunately, the terrorizing of Mets pitching that began yesterday with a Jayson Werth RBI single started again tonight with a pair of hello-goodbye’s from the bats of Placido and Ryan, and then again with Shane’s grand slam.  Even Chase joined in when he saw the rest of the Phillies surrounding Santana and kicking him without mercy.  Peer pressure!  It wins games.

This was the classic case of the offense being offensive enough to deal with the inevitable runs of the starting pitcher. Jamie’s going to give up runs, people.  It’s something that’s  just going to happen, like the sun rising, or people I don’t like finding dead cats in their cars all summer.

Sometimes its a lot, sometimes its a little.  With a Jamie Moyer start, you don’t have to worry about him bringing his A game, because he most assuredly will; its just a matter of hoping the other team hasn’t had a chance in the last 23 years to check out his pitches. Jamie gets hit.  He just does.  He also looks awesome holding a bat.

So when we face an offensive shutdown, Jamie’s not able to do what he does, which is get over the hump (the hump in this case being five runs), and start getting guys out.  When the runs come so naturally like they did tonight, it takes the pressure off him, and he can relax more, going six innings with two K’s and no walks.  That’s a damn clean Moyer outing.

Speaking of relaxing, tomorrow night is a Joe Blanton/Dollar Dog Night for Phils-Cardinals, 7:05 pm, Citizens Bank Park. I will be celebrating the one year anniversary of seeing a man vomit dog-meat into a trash can for 20 minutes.

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