Johan joins the Mets' MASH unit due to sore elbow

Leave a comment

It simply had to happen. The Mets had already lost Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado and plenty of others. Now perhaps the most valuable player of all has gone down: Johan Santana has been scratched from his start Tuesday because of a sore elbow.
According to manager Jerry Manuel after today’s loss, Santana has been having issues with the elbow since at least the All-Star break. He was no longer throwing on the side in between starts, which probably helped lead to his inconsistency on the mound. He was still 3-2 with a 3.22 ERA in seven second-half starts, so he certainly wasn’t bad. However, he had allowed at least nine hits in four of those outings.
Santana will be examined on Tuesday. Even a somewhat favorable diagnosis that would result in him being shut down for 10-14 days might as well end his season.
The Mets are without any quality alternatives for the rotation because of all of their injuries. Pat Misch, who bailed out Oliver Perez by pitching four innings Sunday, figures to be in the mix, though he won’t be able to start in Santana’s place tomorrow. Journeymen Nelson Figueroa and Elmer Dessens are other options to fill in. The one semi-intriguing youngster in Triple-A is 24-year-old Tobi Stoner, who has gone 5-7 with a 4.46 ERA, 76 H and 50/29 K/BB in 76 2/3 IP since moving up to Buffalo. He projects as more of a middle reliever, but he’d now seem to have a realistic chance of picking up some starts this year.

Phillies walk off winners thanks to a poor decision by Marcell Ozuna

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
4 Comments

The Phillies’ bullpen, which has not been good as of late, gift-wrapped Monday’s game for the Cardinals. Starter Nick Pivetta was brilliant, fanning 13 while allowing two runs in 7 1/3 innings. But things unraveled after he left the game. Victor Arano took over for Edubray Ramos to start the ninth inning with the Phillies leading 4-2, but he allowed a one-out single and a double. After striking out Harrison Bader, Arano appeared to strike out Yairo Munoz for the final out of the game, but the ball trickled through the legs of catcher Andrew Knapp, allowing a run to score and the tying run to move to third base. Lefty Adam Morgan came in to face pinch-hitter Kolten Wong. Wong tied the game up, sneaking a single into center field.

In the 10th inning, Jake Thompson gave up the go-ahead run on a leadoff home run to Tommy Pham. It seemed like it was just going to be another one of those losses that have become increasingly common for the Phillies lately. But the Phillies’ offense didn’t go down quietly, even though it hadn’t put a runner on second base since the start of the second inning when J.P. Crawford doubled. In the bottom half of the 10th, Hoskins blooped a single into shallow left-center to start the inning. Hoskins moved to second base on a ground out from Odubel Herrera. Matt Bowman intentionally walked Carlos Santana, then struck out Jesmuel Valentin. That brought up Aaron Altherr, who replaced Nick Williams after Williams took a baseball to the face off of the right field fence. Bowman fell behind 2-1, then threw a 90 MPH fastball that Altherr lined into left field. Rather than keep the ball in front of him, Marcell Ozuna decided to dive for the ball to make the final out, but he missed. The ball trickled past him, allowing the tying and the game-winning runs to score, giving the Phillies a come-from-behind win.

On the list of people happy to see Ozuna miss that ball are Altherr (of course), Arano, Morgan, and Thompson. But perhaps no one was happier than manager Gape Kapler. The win might help take the heat off of him somewhat after another poor performance from the bullpen. When a team struggles, everyone wants a scapegoat and Kapler is an easy target. He has been all year, undeservingly.

Phillies radio broadcaster and former major league reliever Larry Anderson said after the bullpen meltown, “Not everybody can pitch in the ninth inning. And I know Gabe Kapler thinks they can, but they can’t.” Aside from Ramos and Seranthony Dominguez (who was unavailable after throwing 52 pitches between Saturday and Sunday in Milwaukee), no one in that bullpen has been reliable. The closer, Hector Neris, just got optioned to Triple-A. You work with what you have, and right now, Kapler doesn’t have a whole lot. Thankfully for him, he wasn’t punished with another loss thanks to Ozuna.