- Last Updated: 11:04 AM, May 17, 2012
- Posted: 2:54 AM, May 17, 2012
Johan Santana is in the same position as a Mets fan when the bullpen enters with a lead.
“There’s not much I can do, but just watch and hope that we get it done,” Santana said.
Hope went unrewarded once more for Santana, who allowed two runs and six hits over 6 2/3 innings, but watched another win wither away after the bullpen allowed four eighth-inning runs in the Mets’ 6-3 loss to the Reds last night at Citi Field.
Santana (1-2) recorded his fifth consecutive quality start, but left with his fifth no-decision of the season, tying for the most in the National League. The 33-year-old threw 107 pitches, including 71 strikes, while striking out five and walking two.
“It’s always tough,” Santana said. “You have a chance to win a ballgame and it didn’t happen. I’m just trying to do my job. Once I do my job and I’m out of the game, I just hope that the guys can finish it, but it’s out of my control. That wasn’t the case tonight.”
Reliever Jon Rauch, who blew his third save last night, said he was disappointed with his performance, but seemed just as upset that he couldn’t give Santana what he deserved.
“Shoot, I think I’ve screwed him over twice,At least this year I’ve blown two of his games,” Rauch said. “It’s really tough. I can’t look the guy in the eye right now.”
Santana, who was one pitch shy of tying a season-high, has rebounded wonderfully after missing all of last year because of left shoulder surgery and has allowed more than three runs in just one of eight starts this season. The left-hander lowered his ERA to 2.89, giving up one run in the first six innings before surrendering a solo home run to Todd Frazier in the seventh inning, cutting the Mets lead to 3-2.
“He is the guy that I’ve heard about,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “I’d never seen him pitch before, but listening to the people that had seen him pitch, the one general characteristic I’d heard was, ‘Wait until you see this guy compete.’ He’s absolutely done all of that.”
After Santana left the game in the seventh inning, to a standing ovation, Bobby Parnell struck out Zack Cozart to end the inning with a runner on second.
For a moment, Santana had hope. And with the majority of the season ahead, it is something he knows he must hold on to.
“This is not the first time it’s happened,” Santana said. “I know at some point it’s going to come back and it’ll turn around. There are situations where they’ll come back and pick me up so I cannot forget about that.”Follow @NYPostsports