Santana goes distance, Mets top PiratesAug 17, 2008 - 10:14 PM By Brad Everett PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- When Johan Santana is on his game, he is practically unhittable. Well, almost.
In command from start to finish, Santana tossed his best game as a member of the New York Mets, throwing a three-hit shutout in a 4-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.
Santana (11-7) was brilliant, allowing just four baserunners - a trio of singles and another on an error by Jose Reyes - while notching seven strikeouts. Santana, who had set down the first 10 hitters of the game before giving up a hit to Jack Wilson, finished the contest by retiring eight straight to win his fourth consecutive decision.
"I felt pretty good," Santana said. "I was just trying to be consistent and trying to throw my fastball. It's all about throwing my fastball for strikes and that's what I was able to do today, and mixing everything up."
Santana pounded the strike zone, throwing 85 of his 113 pitches for strikes en route to his second complete game in his last five starts.
Mets manager Jerry Manuel said there wasn't a doubt he would send Santana out to try to earn his first shutout since June 19, 2007, when he blanked the Mets, 9-0, as a member of the Minnesota Twins.
Santana responded by setting down the Pirates in order on just five pitches.
"He really had it going today," Manuel said. "You feel very confident and comfortable sending him back, and he was very adamant in going back. When you can, you like to reward them."
Light-hitting catcher Brian Schneider homered and drove in three runs for the Mets, who have won six straight and nine of their last 11 games.
Carlos Beltran hit his 17th home run of the season and Argenis Reyes added the first three-hit game of his career for New York, which will attempt to sweep the four-game series Monday.
"We're playing good baseball and we're getting good pitching," Manuel said. "And we're executing for the most part in a lot of different facets of the game. Regardless of who you play, those are things you still must do."
Wilson was 2-for-4 for the Pirates, who dropped their fourth straight to fall a season-high 14 games under .500. The squad has managed just 12 runs in their past six games and could never establish a rhythm against the Mets' ace.
"(Santana) is one of the best pitchers in baseball, and that's what he's capable of doing," said Pirates manager John Russell. "He had command of the zone, didn't throw many balls and used all his pitches. That's why he's Johan Santana. That's why he's one of the best."
The Mets got all the offense they needed in the second inning, when Schneider hit an 0-2 pitch off Jeff Karstens (2-2) into the right field bleachers for a 2-0 lead. Schneider laced an RBI double in the fourth and Beltran added a leadoff home run in the sixth.
"It's just one of those things," Schneider said. "I'm obviously not trying to do too much. I'm just trying to put some good swings on it and get some hits."
Karstens, who was making his fourth start for the Pirates since being acquired from the New York Yankees, struggled from the get-go and surrendered four runs and nine hits in six innings. Since throwing 15 scoreless innings in his first two starts, the righthander has given up eight runs over 13 frames in back-to-back losses.
"I expect good things out of myself and I have to go out there and pitch better than I did," Karstens said. "I'll go back and look at it tomorrow and see what adjustments I've got to make."
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
NY METS 0 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 4 10 1
PITTSBURGH 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 2 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: NYM - JOHAN SANTANA AND BRIAN SCHNEIDER
PIT - JEFF KARSTENS, T.J. BEAM (7TH), SEAN BURNETT
(8TH), CRAIG HANSEN (9TH) AND RAUL CHAVEZ
HOME RUNS: NYM - BRIAN SCHNEID
Aug 17 4:18 PM
AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
SINGLE BY BRIAN SCHNEIDER SCORED CARLOS BELTRAN.
SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B SCHNEIDER ON FIRST, 2 OUT
CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 3
PITTSBURGH 0 TOP, 4TH
DUE UP FOR NY METS: J SANTANA (.148, 0-FOR-1)
Mets 3, Pirates 0 Top 4, 0 OutsAug 17 2:31 PM
AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY BRIAN SCHNEIDER (4) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT
IN THE 2ND OFF JEFF KARSTENS SCORED DAN MURPHY.
CURRENT SCORE: NY METS 2, PITTSBURGH 0
DUE UP FOR NY METS: J SANTANA (.151, 0 HR, 1 RBI)
Mets 2, Pirates 0 Top 2, 0 OutsAug 17 2:00 PM
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