By Ed Coleman
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Well, it had to come to an end sometime, didn’t it?
The Mets’ string of superb pitching came to a crashing halt on Tuesday night at Turner Field when their de facto ace, Johan Santana, was roughed up for six runs (four earned) in just 1 1/3 innings, the shortest outing of his career.
Santana’s abbreviated start marked the beginning of the third turn through the Mets’ rotation. And the second time through had been even better than the first.
Over the previous five games, no Mets starter had allowed more than one run, and they had thrown four straight quality starts. They also had the second-lowest starters’ ERA in the majors, right behind the Washington Nationals. It certainly didn’t come as a surprise to manager Terry Collins.
Dillon Gee, who mesmerized the Braves on Monday night with seven innings of one-run ball, felt he knew how good the rotation could be as they worked their way through spring training.
Gee had to get through a two-on, none-out situation in the seventh to finish off his night and did, which drew praise from Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen.
Collins also gave props to his catchers – Josh Thole, who’s been an offensive force, and Mike Nickeas both have had a substantial impact on the success of the pitching staff.
Despite their first loss to the Braves, the 7-4 ledger constitutes a good start out of the gate for the Mets, something which Collins felt was imperative for his players and the organization.
They have done that, and they do compete. We’ll see if a surprising start lays a foundation for continued improvement.
C U soon
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