Johan Santana still hoping to pitch for Mets this season

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Setbacks in his recovery from shoulder surgery ruined Johan Santana’s plans to join the Mets by mid-August, but the two-time Cy Young winner is still holding out some hope of pitching in the majors before the end of the season.

Santana resumed his minor-league rehab assignment Saturday at Single-A with two innings of one-run ball and, barring another setback, is scheduled to make his second rehab start Friday.

Because the minor-league season is coming to an end any further pitching will have to be in instructional leagues or, if Santana gets his wish, with the Mets.

Assistant general manager John Ricco smartly told Andy McCullough of the Newark Star Ledger that the Mets’ priority is getting Santana ready for 2012 rather than making sure he can make at least one appearance this season, but did admit that “we’ll have to get creative because the minor-league seasons will end.”

Joe Maddon: “I have a defensive foot fetish.”

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The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.

Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.

Well then.

The Nationals have scored 62 runs during four Joe Ross starts

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If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.

Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.

Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.

Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.