Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Ike Davis is Once Again a Cromulent First Baseman

In honor of Ike Davis raising his batting average over the Mendoza Line for the first time this season, I decided it would be fitting to do a post about his recent hot streak, and his season as a whole.

Through 76 games, Ike has hit .201/.281/.376 with 11 doubles, 10 home runs, and 41 RBI. When his "hot streak" began, he was hitting .166/.244/.276, with six doubles, five home runs, and 21 RBI. Let's look at what he's done since, with a bit of context:

In 149 plate appearances last year (which many considered to resemble a potential All-Star year), Ike Davis hit .302/.383/.583, with eight doubles, a triple, seven home runs and 25 RBI.  

Over his last 55 plate appearances, Ike has hit a whopping .347/.418/.755, with five doubles, five home runs, and 21 RBI. In the past 15 games (13 starts), Ike has pretty much matched what he did in 36 "breakout" games last season.

I think we can have a little confidence in Ike's "return".

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

In which I dissect the bullpen

As you can see here, the Mets' bullpen ranks 30th out of 30 teams in ERA. They're tied with Houston for 29th with a .275 BAA. They rank 22nd with 85 walks surrendered. Fortunately, they also rank 22nd in innings pitched, so their damage has been somewhat limited.

I would assert though, that "the Mets have the worst bullpen in baseball" does not necessarily hold, however; as the Mets may not currently hold the worst collection of relievers.

Exhibit A: Manny Acosta
Manny Acosta had a high ERA. Higher than anyone on the Mets not named Chris Schwinden.  Acosta, however, pitched 13.1 more innings than Schwinden before getting axed.

Manny Acosta allowed 33 runs (29 earned) in his 22 innings, earning him an 11.86 ERA. Only two pitchers on the Mets have allowed more - Dillon Gee (45, 41 earned) and Jonathon Niese (35, 32 earned). They're both starting pitchers, however. Dillon Gee has pitched 61.1 more innings than Acosta, Niese 53.1. 

Thanks to ESPN, we can see rather quickly that the the Met 'pen has allowed 113 earned runs in 188.1 innings, giving them 5.40 ERA. Quick subtraction shows us that, minus Acosta, those numbers shrink to 84 ER in 166.1 innings. Their ERA? 4.55, nearly a full run less. They move all the way up to 29th! My argument is, albeit weakly, already proven!

But that's a little too simplistic. Let's see how the current bullpen measures up. Currently*, the Mets carry Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch, Bobby Parnell, Tim Byrdak, Miguel Batista**, Jeremy Hefner**, and Elvin Ramirez as relievers. Let's take a look at their collective performance in 2012.

* Ramon Ramirez is being included as his absence is health-related, unlike the other excluded relievers who were either optioned or designated for assignment.

** Only relief statistics are included here.

[Click to embiggen]

So, they have a 4.41 ERA. Not great, but quite close to last year's 4.33. Some things have improved -- They're getting more strikeouts (8.41 K/9, vs. 7.91).

Two important takeaways from this:

1. They're improving. The worst two relievers, Acosta and DJ Carrasco, are no longer with the ball club. Francisco's ERA has dropped from 8.59 to 5.00 since May 14th.

2. Their "damage" will be limited. Dillon Gee's and Jonathon Niese's improvement over the past month, and Chris Young's stability in Mike Pelfrey's rotation slot will allow the Mets' to rely less on the 'pen, and the less they're used the better they will be.

And if all else fails, the Mets have built up some reinforcements in the minors. Pedro Beato and Jenrry Mejia will both be available before the All-Star Break. Given how poorly the bullpen has performed to this point, the future is much, much brighter than we all once thought.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Mets after 64 (part 2!) -- By Batting Order

In my last post I broke down the production that the Mets have gotten out of each position on the field, and how they project going forward. Because it's basically the same data here, just organized differently, I'm not going to provide a spot-by-spot breakdown. I'm also going to, for kicks and giggles, put together my 'ideal' lineup based on the best performances in each spot.

Let's get started!

Again, a few notes:
1. These statistics only include those in the position (i.e. Ruben Tejada's at bats in the 8-hole are not included in his leadoff statistics)
2. I have again omitted including pitchers, as their offense is largely sporadic and highly unpredictable.
3. These statistics are as of 6/14.

(Click the position for a larger version of the statistics graphics)









A few things to note this year:

- The Mets are getting excellent production out of their leadoff batters. Andres Torres weighs down the batting average, but his 19/15 BB/K ratio really has compensated for it. Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Ruben Tejada put up very similar numbers, Kirk swinging for a bit more power and Ruben getting on base better. The Mets seem to have two bonafide leadoff hitters; I would prefer Nieuwenhuis stay in the spot when Tejada returns, as Tejada has shown an adeptness in the 8th spot. If Ike Davis continues to struggle, however, Kirk could find his bat in the middle of the order in an attempt to plug the gaping 5-hole.

- Continuing with the leadoff point, they have scored 47 runs on 70 hits, with 5 home runs and 27 RBI. Jose Reyes has 30 runs scored on 72 hits, with 2 home runs and 16 RBI in Miami this year, in an almost identical sample size (299 PA's vs. 294). Maybe this argument is more fit for arguing that Reyes was not an ideal leadoff hitter. Maybe all those stolen bases weren't super important. The Mets' pace of 119 runs scored, 13 home runs, and 68 RBI are all better than Reyes' averages, and any of those numbers would be a top-3 total for him.

- Daniel Murphy has been so much better batting second (.319/.387/.404) than fifth (.283/.321/.368), in nearly identical samples. It's not even close. My completely uneducated guess is that batting fifth caused a shift in his strategy at the plate. His walk-rate plummeted, leading me to believe that he was trying to force himself to put more balls into play. Murph had found himself an excellent groove, moving others over and setting a clean table for David Wright and the middle of the order. When he got moved, he was expected to produce runs. While he certainly did a fine job, it plays against his strengths. Daniel won't hit many home runs, but I would say he might have the best eye at the plate on this team, save maybe David Wright.

- David Wright can hit third. No one else. Daniel Murphy can hit there when Wright as games off (sliding Tejada into the two-hole), but that's it. Wright's 52 starts here are, by far, the most any player has had in a particular lineup slot, behind Duda's 31 in the cleanup spot.

- The middle of the order has struggled mightily, but somehow look to combine for 66 home runs and over 300 RBI. Batters hitting fifth have slugged a collective .378, the second worst of any spot in the order, behind the eight spot. The struggles of Ike Davis and Jason Bay, and the injuries to Ruben Tejada have taken their toll here. A productive Davis would allow Duda to bat sixth, where he's hit .288/.345/.596 this year, with 5 home runs and 10 RBI in only 52 at bats. With a healthy Ruben Tejada, the Mets could slot Scott Hairston or Kirk Nieuwenhuis fifth depending on the matchup.

- 15(!) different hitters have been written into the 7th spot in the order this year. Josh Thole has performed the best, with a .351/.415/.432 line in 11 starts here. Aside from stabilizing the catcher position, Thole's healthy return lengthens the lineup.

- In 119 plate appearances, non-pitchers have hit an astounding .299/.361/.514 in the ninth spot. They have gotten excellent production out of their pinch hitters.

Based strictly on this data, my 'ideal' lineup would be:

Kirk Nieuwenhuis, CF
Daniel Murphy, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Scott Hairston, LF
Ike Davis, 1B
Lucas Duda, DH
Josh Thole, C
Ruben Tejada, SS
Mike Baxter, RF

Which is largely similar to what the Mets are running out right now, swapping Mike Baxter out for the pitcher and Ruben Tejada for Omar Quintanilla.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Mets after 64 -- by Position

Terry Collins has said multiple times that the success of the 2012 New York Mets (I'm not going to link each player because of the sheer number; click for all the data) would depend on the ability for all 25 players to contribute. He made a pretty conservative estimate. Through the first 64 games, 39 different players have made appearances for the Mets -- 20 batters, and 19 pitchers (20 if you consider Rob Johnson's scoreless inning against Toronto). There have been at least three different players to start at each position, and four of the eight opening-day position players have spent time on the DL (CF Andres Torres, LF Jason Bay, SS Ruben Tejada, and C Josh Thole). Five players have started at Shortstop, and six have started at Left Field through the first 64 games of the season. Last month I did a 30-game review of the starting line-up. Given that half of those guys haven't done much since then, I'm taking a different approach this time. Today I'm doing a to-date review of each position by aggregate production (i.e. the total statistics of players at that position). Later this weekend I'm going to break it down by batting order.

Some notes:
1. The statistics only include data from when that player was at that position, not their overall production. Beneath the players' statistics are the totals, and then an extrapolation of those totals to a 162-game season.
2. The statistics do not include games played on or after 6/15.
3. I have not included offensive statistics from pitchers.
4. Designated Hitters and Pinch Hitters' statistics have been combined.

So, without further ado, let's begin!

(Click the position for a larger version of the statistics)

The Mets haven't gotten much production from their backstops, but this is largely due to Josh Thole's extended absence after suffering a concussion on May 7th. In that time, Rob Johnson clearly outpaced Mike Nickeas offensively, but the team showed their preference for Nickeas' defensive abilities as they optioned Johnson when Thole returned. As Thole readjusts and collects more at bats, I would expect the .240/.304/.304 line to improve. The catchers are on pace for a collective 48 RBI, but I expect them to outpace that number.

It's also worth noting that Josh Thole currently has a bWAR of 1.2 this year, which equals his collective bWAR from 2009-2011. While he lacks power, he is continuing to show that his ability to hit for average and get on base provide solid offensive value at his position. 


First base has been an adventure so far this year; the struggles of Ike Davis have been thoroughly, extensively, and continuously chronicled. That said, he's been heating up of late, having hit in six straight games, with 1 HR, 2 2B, and 7 RBI in that span.

While the projected 17 home runs from first base are, along with the collective .197 average, much lower than everyone was hoping for, the 78 RBI are at least respectable. Like the catchers, I would bet that both these numbers are topped as Davis' numbers begin to normalize. Realistically, Ike's continued improvement is a necessity for the Mets to continue to compete in August and beyond. His struggles have occurred almost exclusively at home; his road numbers (.257/.341/.477) compare favorably to his career averages. Depending on how long Ike's streak carries, the outlook here could change quickly.


The keystone has been a bit of a mixed bag this year. To his credit, the difference in Daniel Murphy's defense over the first two months has been night and day. The oddity in that though, is that he routinely makes highlight-reel plays and struggles on the simple ones. My (note: purely conjecture) take from it is that his shortcomings at this point are purely mental; Murphy may be second guessing or trying to anticipate things. He definitely has the athleticism for the position, and will continue to improve as it becomes more instinctive. Plays like this have to be encouraging, and no one can question Murph's work ethic.  

Offensively, he's been struggling of late, but he'll likely be able to pick his average back up as the year continues. He's been extremely durable, accounting for 221 of the 241 plate appearances by Mets' second basemen this year, and just under 25% of his hits have gone for extra bases. Backups Justin Turner and Jordany Valdespin collectively have put up Murphian numbers. 

The lingering question here is that of power. Murphy has some pop (he actually led the ball club in home runs in 2009 with 12), but has yet to hit a four-bagger this year (he has the most plate appearances in the MLB without a home run in 2012). I'll expect him to hit a few as the year carries on, but if the Mets can get the projected 76 RBI from the position, they'll take it. 


David Wright.

But seriously, the Mets dodged a major bullet with Wright's broken pinky in April. He's cooled off significantly in the past few weeks, but is still having a monster season, and could end up near 25 HR / 100 RBI and well over 100 runs scored. That, combined with his batting average and on base percentage, spells an MVP-caliber season from Wright. Production at third base otherwise has been poor, as Ronny Cedeno, Justin Turner, and Vinny Rottino combined to go 4-21 with 3 RBI, 2 runs scored and zero walks.

There's not much else I can say that hasn't been said already. Wright is simply on another level this year, and isn't showing a lot of signs of slowing down. He's an extra base machine (39.7% of his hits have gone for extra bases), he's walking more often than striking out, and his defense has been better than in the past two years. He's basically the R.A. Dickey of hitting this year.


I'm going to start this section by linking to a blog called Lovable Losers, who did an excellent job comparing the production of the Mets group of shortstops to that of Miami Marlins' shortstop Jose Reyes (advantage: Mets). His statistics don't include games from 6/13 forward, but he provides excellent insight and analysis which is partially responsible for me doing these posts. It's a classic case of small sample size, admittedly, but it goes without saying that were the opposite case true, it would be rubbed in the face of the team relentlessly. 

The Shorstops aren't scoring as many runs as Reyes averaged with the Mets, but the dropoff isn't nearly as significant as many expected. The important takeaways this far are that Ruben Tejada is a quality major league hitter (and he's only 22!), and Omar Quintanilla was an excellent signing by Sandy Alderson. It's unlikely that he'll remain on the team when Ronny Cedeno and Ruben Tejada are both healthy, but he will be the everyday shortstop going forward, until Tejada's return.


Two things stick out here -- Kirk Nieuwenhuis is only 9 plate appearances away from being the "primary" left fielder (with Jason Bay returning to the DL, this will likely occur), and Scott Hairston really should have that distinction. (After Bay's injury last night, Hairston hit a 2-run home run, his 9th of the year, in left field last night. Think about that. Scott Hairston has 120 at bats, and 9 home runs. Until Bay's return, he will likely see every start against left-handed pitching, given his ridiculous .310/.333/.607 line. His hitting against RHP isn't as good, but his .417 slugging percentage is good enough to gamble on a low batting average.

Jason Bay has gone from a disappointment, to a flat-out shame. No matter his poor production (which I partially debunked here), few players have given as much effort as Bay. He has spent his two-plus seasons in Queens with only one task - to endear himself to Mets fans. His injuries have all come as a result of his effort -- two concussions from crashing into walls, and a broken rib from diving for a ball. Say what you will about him, Jason Bay has spent two and a half years literally putting his health and well-being on the line for this team. 

Speaking of, it's a damn shame that Mike Baxter will miss so much time. Aside from all the storylines (however compelling they may be, and they certainly are), his bat would pair perfectly with Hairston's in a left field platoon. The Mike Hairston/Scott Baxter (pick one, neither really work) platoon has hit .359/.407/.664 with seven home runs and 27 RBI in only 128 at bats. That's a damn good left fielder. It's so good, in fact, it outpaces Josh Hamilton's 2010 MVP season. It's certainly unfair of me to say that's what would continue to happen, but it's a gamble I would take without question.


Last winter, the Mets traded embattled centerfielder Angel Pagan to San Francisco for reliever Ramon Ramirez. Andres Torres came along for the ride, but ultimately was a 'pot sweetener', if you will. If Kirk Nieuwenhuis had not missed the majority of 2011 after shoulder surgery, he probably would have gone into this season as the opening day centerfielder. But he did, so he wasn't. Torres, most project, is a solid fourth outfielder, given his fantastic defense and largely average bat. Nieuwenhuis was a hotly-debated prospect coming off a significant injury. At every level of the minors, Captain Kirk has been labeled as a guy who wouldn't succeed. He was generally projected as a platoon guy, given his disparate righty/lefty splits. However, he proceeded to hit, and continue to hit, consistently, at every level. His career minor league slashline is a respectable .280/.354/.464. Notably, it's roughly what he hit at every level -- he didn't necessarily feast on A-level pitching and struggle in the higher levels. His major league slashline this year is .297/.358/.440. He strikes out a lot, but that's followed him at every level. 

Looking above, it's clear that he's been at his best in center field. He's been decidedly better than Torres, and is being rewarded by Terry Collins with the majority of playing time . His .196 average against left-handed pitching needs to improve if he's to become a fixture in the Mets' future, but he has shown some encouraging signs so far. That and his impressive defense make him an exciting prospect. Flying under the radar because of the Bryce Harper hype, Nieuwenhuis is having a Rookie-of-the-Year-caliber season this year and is showing no signs of slowing down. 


Lucas Duda has been as good offensively as he's been poor defensively. He had a bit of a slow start to his season, which comes with precedent (he struggled in 2010, and didn't hit his first home run until his 110th PA of 2011). However, he's slugged .574 over his last 20 games, despite only hitting .250 in that span. While the average may not be ideal, the Mets will gladly take his six home runs and 18 RBI in that span (49HR and 145RBI pace extrapolated over 162 games). The big takeaway, though, is that Duda hit .292 last year. If he can push his average back toward that number, while still maintaining the run production, Lucas can be a monster in right field. He is still raw as a power hitter, but displays raw strength similar to Mike Stanton (Duda's home runs have very similar average distance and speed off the bat to Stanton -- 412.7' and 106.33mph vs. 413.9' and 107mph). It'd be somewhat foolish of me to insist that Lucas Duda is destined to produce what Stanton does, but he's certainly capable of the same contact. And, of course, the better his offense, the less anyone will notice his defense.


Against expectation, the Mets have had excellent production from their pinch hitters and from the DH position. The other side of the coin, though, is that many of the players responsible for this production are now regulars in the line-up due to injury (Scott Hairston) or on the DL (Mike Baxter, Justin Turner). Either way though, Terry Collins has been pushing the proper buttons to get production out of guys you haven't heard of, and that's more or less been the tale of the Mets' season as a whole this year. It says a lot that the Mets could get 100 rbi from pitchers and pinch hitters this year. 

So there you have it. Without Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, with a $52 Million payroll cut that's been ballyhooed and thrown in our faces for months, Despite the struggles of Ike Davis, the absence of Jason Bay, the absence of a running game, and a laundry list of injuries, the Mets have scored 287 runs in their first 64 games, putting them on pace to outscore last year's team by 14 runs. They're 4 games better than last year's team, and are a much, much more fun team to watch. We really don't know what their potential is, or what the future holds, but it's safe to say that the Mets are righting the ship.

Let's go Mets!

Saturday, June 2, 2012


If you're reading my blog (and actually enjoy it!) you're welcome to follow me on Twitter! I use the blog Twitter (@MetsByNumbers) to announce upcoming posts, and to occasionally tweet things about the team. My personal Twitter feed (@danhaefeli) I use much more often, and talk about things other than just baseball. And please, as always, if there's any particular storyline or trend you want to learn more about, let me know and I'll do some research!

Johan Santana

On May 9th, I wrote this about Johan Santana:

So far, Santana has been everything the Mets could have hoped for and so much more. Were it not for his poor (read: pitiful) run support, Santana would likely be 4 or 5 - 1 right now, with his only loss coming in his 1.1IP start in Atlanta. If you remove that one start, his ERA drops to 1.51. Despite diminished velocity (his fastball is averaging 88.4mph vs. 89.6 in 2010), Santana has shown that he can still succeed. He offsets his fastball by a full 10mph with his circle change up (arguably once the best out pitch in baseball), and shows a competitive fire matched by few. His 9.9 K/9IP will likely drop (he has averaged 7.6 with the Mets), but so should his 3.5 BB/9IP. Coming into this season, we viewed anything from Santana as a gift. Going forward, it seems safe to say that Johan is here to say, but don't take it for granted. Santana was one of baseball's elite pitchers for years, and a return to the top, though unlikely, isn't entirely out of the question. After the work he's put in so far, it's hard to doubt what he can accomplish.

Not that I'm trying to pat myself on the back here, but look at his numbers since then:

5 GS, 2 SHO, 37 IP, 2-1, 2.19 ERA, 24 H, 34 K, 9 BB

He's been dominant. Five of those nine walks came in just one of those starts [Fun fact! It was a no-hitter]. Since allowing a game-tying home run in Pittsburgh on May 21st, he hasn't allowed a run. Since his 4-out outing in Atlanta on April 17th, he's pitched at least six innings every time out. And dammit, he's getting better. Santana has never thrown more than two shutouts in a season. He's thrown [a major-league leading] two in the past week. He's still not perfect with his control, but it's not slowing him down. Forgive the optimism, but there's a chance that he hasn't yet reached his best. Pitching coach Dan Warthen said last week that we would see a different Johan Santana around the beginning of June. How's 4 hits over his last 18 innings sound?

Coming into this season, Santana was a major question mark. Now he's an exclamation point. His 2.38 ERA entering today was 6th in the National League entering play. He's 6th in the National League in strikeouts (R.A. Dickey is 4th); his .200 average against is 4th and his WHIP is 8th. He's on pace for 200 innings AND strikeouts this year. Johan Santana is back.

Believe it!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Section 334, Row 1, Seat 21

I was there.

In the first breath, those are pretty much the only words I can use to describe it.

Today's game has been long circled on my calendar. My friend Tommy, one of my five or six closest friends, is a huge Cardinals fan. A group of us had decided that we would capitalize when they came to town. We're still going to the game on Sudnay I was with him for Game 7 last year, saw the elation on his face. As a younger fan (I'm 23), who's only been really following baseball for a few years, it's something that I've rarely (if ever) gotten from the Mets. Sure, they're fun to watch, and when they've said that "you see something new in every baseball game", they were probably talking about the Mets. And, unfortunately, it was new ways to lose. But that's not what's important.

We bought the tickets on StubHub this morning. Left Field Landing. Front row. I left my office in Long Island City at about 4:40. I knew my friends wouldn't arrive until at least six o'clock, so I took my time to the ballpark. I got a beer at a bar in Sunnyside. I walked another six blocks to find an ATM with a fee under $3 (I settled on one in a random bakery that was $2.50). I got to Citi Field, via the 7 train, at around  5:45. At that point, my friends had just gotten through the Holland Tunnel. They wouldn't arrive for a while. I sat down at a bench outside the Jackie Robinson rotunda, next to an elderly man in a Cardinals jersey. Mostly silence. We shared a laugh, however, at the fact that there's a Fanwalk brick that just says 'Moo'. Around 6:15, I got up and walked around. I found a group of guys tailgating. I asked them for a (n adult) drink, and they happily obliged. I spent the next half hour talking baseball with them. We discussed the Hall of Fame merits of Keith Hernandez, as well as memories of Mike Piazza and thoughts about the 1980's Mets. They headed in. My friends (the aforementioned Tommy, and our friend Ed) arrived a few minutes after. We headed in and to our seats:

Section 334, Row 1, Seat 21.

It was nice, as we had the three last seats in our row. As we got near our section, Ed turns to me and says "watch, Johan throws a no-hitter tonight and the Mets lose." A joke, of course, because he's probably said something to that tune before every Mets game he's been alive for.

We watched the first inning in our seats. After Adam Wainwright set down Mike Baxter, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and David Wright, I made my way for the snack stands. Got a hot dog and a beer. The line, of course, took me through the entirety of the second inning. I watched Johan strike out Adams and Greene from the luxury of a tensabarrier line, waiting on my hot dog. Got it, ate it, went back to the game.

The first time I mentioned it was the middle of the third inning. It kinda became a joke; maybe 'not talking about a no hitter' was the jinx. Didn't even occur to me though, that it could actually happen, until Mike Baxter's catch in the 7th. Sitting in the Left Field Landing, we had a perfect view of Baxter's grab. My first thought: "He's not getting up. $@*^ I hope he's okay". My second thought: "Every no-hitter has one awesome defensive play. Maybe this is it." Andres Torres came in, Kirk shifted, and the game continued. Johan's pitch count was well over 100 already, and we began to debate when he would be lifted. The Mets, of course, had a comfortable lead already, thanks to the heroics of David Wright, Daniel Murphy, and Lucas "f*@^ it, maybe I will hit 30 homers this year" Duda. When Johan came to bat in the bottom of the 7th, we were already going nuts. We already saw him in the on deck circle.

His pitch count continued to rise, but he stayed effective. Santana was doing with an 89 mph fastball what most pitchers hope to do with 95-mph heat. He fanned 8 over the start, and walked 5, but rarely gave up solid contact. There were few balls that made you fear the inevitable (the Beltran liner notwithstanding). Bobby Parnell was available in the 7th, but never left the bullpen. Terry Collins questioned it, considered taking Santana out, but never could make the move. And it worked out for the best.

Come the ninth inning, we all knew what was happening. A fly ball to Torres. A fly ball to Nieuwenhuis. Perhaps it was fitting that Santana finished it with his eighth strikeout. After almost 20 months of doubt, of skepticism, he showed the world that he can be dominant, regardless of velocity. He did it himself.

As Mets fans, we've probably long taken him for granted. When healthy, Johan Santana has been one of (if not) the best pitchers in baseball. His change up was once the most effective pitch in the majors. And that's where we stood. 2 out, 133 pitches in, and that pitch, that mentality, that man completed what no one else could do in blue and orange: he did not surrender a single base hit to the opposing team.

I can't accurately describe it. I can't tell you what it was like being there, seeing it. Hugging people I've never met. High five-ing little children, who may not understand the gravity of the situation. Perhaps no one will. In fact, it may mean more to him than it ever will to us. After tonight, no one can say that Johan Santana isn't back. Isn't healthy. Isn't an ace.

Holy shit.