The last time Johan Santana pitched in a game that meant anything, it was Sept. 2, 2010. His last pitch that day finished off a strikeout (swinging) of Omar Infante. He would leave the game after just five innings of work, earning the win over the Atlanta Braves, 4-2.
“I felt a little tightness here,” Santana said after the game, pointing to his upper left chest. “(Then-manager Jerry Manuel) said I was done for the night. I felt I was able to go back out, but he didn’t want to take any chances. I’ll be all right.”
He hasn’t pitched in a regular season game since.
Rewind back to Feb. 6, 2008, the Diamond Club at Shea had it last – and perhaps most healing – introductory Press Conference for its newest acquisition, as the team introduced Santana to the fan base.
The New York Giants had just won the Super Bowl, and Big Blue aficionado Jay Horwitz (who also happens to the Mets’ longtime PR man), was beaming as various media members congratulated him on his football team’s championship.
Everyone was upbeat, as much from relief as anything else. The Mets had gotten their guy, a player that most experts (including me), had predicted they had no chance at acquiring. That in and of itself had almost erased the terrible summer of 2007, when they blew a seven-game lead in the National League East with 17 to play.
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