No K-Rod, no problem: Santana hurls complete game shutout

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With closer Francisco Rodriguez “unavailable” for this afternoon’s game, Johan Santana stepped up with a complete-game shutout of the Rockies.
Santana had 110 pitches through eight innings, but came out for the ninth anyway and needed just five more throws for his eighth career shutout and fourth since joining the Mets.
He allowed just four hits and two walks while racking up 10 strikeouts for the 49th double-digit strikeout game of his career. Santana improved to 10-6 with the victory and also sliced his ERA to 2.89, which is tied with Chris Carpenter for ninth in the league.
Santana had a 3.11 ERA in 175 starts with the Twins. He now has a 2.82 ERA in 84 starts with the Mets.

2017 Preview: The American League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East

Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams.  The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.

Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:

Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.