Live from Port St. Lucie, the Stew brings you Mission Johan Santana. The Discovery shuttle sits on a launch pad 90 minutes from here, but the spaceship Santana was ready to go Thursday night.
Mets ace Johan Santana, whose debut had been delayed because of a setback with his left elbow, said his first voyage of the season went great.
"I was excited, you know?" Santana said. "Finally I got a chance to pitch and get into a game — even though it was a spring training game."
Santana threw 47 pitches, including 32 for strikes, over 2 2/3 innings on a warm evening at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie. Santana says his elbow, which he tested with breaking balls, felt A-OK.
"For it to be my first time in a real game situation, it felt great," Santana said. "I threw some sliders; I threw some good ones. I was able to throw my fastball inside. That’s a good sign."
Santana allowed three runs and four hits, including a long homer to Dan Uggla, who was sitting on a fastball.
"Uggla, he swung at the first pitch," Santana said. "He cleaned that up right away. It was one pitch and gone."
Speculation grew that Santana might not be ready for opening day after he was scratched from a scheduled start against Italy’s World Baseball Classic squad in late February. He also had off-season surgery to clean up a torn meniscus in his left knee.
The Mets, who are trying to rebound from a couple of late-season collapses, seem to inspire worry.
Santana said he never had any doubts.
"I knew it all the time that I was fine," Santana said. "I don’t question anything. It’s just that I had a little setback, did a workout and all the treatment I was supposed to do and got back on track.
"I knew (the whole) time that I was fine.”
Santana said he is scheduled to pitch either in five days or in five games. When, when, when? The media wants to know when, Johan!
"I gotta throw a bullpen in a couple days, so I’ll let you guys know in a couple days," Santana said. "That fair enough or do I have to tell you right now?"
A funny man, too.
Santana’s outing looked like vintage Cy Young material compared with that of Tim Redding, who allowed nine runs and three homers in two innings.
Martinez, paging Pedro Martinez.
Oh, and the Marlins won 16-8.