This milestone had never been accomplished by a New York Mets pitcher before, but it did not come with stunned gratitude by a fan base desperately waiting to see it finally occur. Instead, Johan Santana's season offered some cruel symmetry Friday night, when the first Met to throw a no-hitter back on June 1 earned a much more ignominious place in team history. He allowed at least six runs in a start for the fifth straight time. No Met had done that before. And so continued the brutal post-script to Santana's brilliant no-hitter and first-half tale of coming back from left shoulder surgery. Since, he has provided one question-inducing appearance after the other, the latest coming in Friday's 6-4 loss to the Washington Nationals. Santana gave up a grand slam to Michael Morse and a two-run homer to Bryce Harper, coughing up an early 2-0 lead and exiting after five innings. He gave up seven hits while falling to 6-9, dropping seven of 10 and posting an 8.27 ERA since his June 1 no-hitter. Manager Terry Collins said after the game Santana's arm strength looked to be back in his second start following a disabled list stint for an injured ankle and to rest his tired left arm, and Santana said he felt healthy. But pitching coach Dan Warthen acknowledged he, Santana and Collins would have to "talk about" shutting down the lefty for the rest of the season. Santana said he was willing to do "whatever they want to do." Of course, what they might need to do now could be a lot different than it was a couple of months ago, when Collins first fretted over the potential damage of letting Santana throw 134 pitches to finish off his no-hitter. The pitcher has since denied any link, and it's fair to question just how much of an effect one outing can have. But all these troubling starts later, Santana once again did something no Met pitcher had done before, only in an entirely different way.
- Johan Santana