Santana rebounded from one of the worst performances of his career with his longest outing of the season against the Rays on Saturday. Santana allowed just two runs on three hits in 7 1/3 innings, but a Carlos Pena solo homer in the seventh was the game-winner in a rain-interrupted 3-1 Rays victory. Santana has now lost three of his last four starts after beginning the season 7-2. He has started against the Cardinals once in his career — a complete game last July 27. Santana limited the Cardinals to a run on six hits in the 9-1 Mets win.
SantanaÂ hasnâ€™t been quite as dominant as he was last season, when he had a 2.53 ERA in his first year in Queens, but heâ€™s still provided New York with a quality start 10 times in 14 appearances. The Metsâ€™ offense, however, hasnâ€™t given its ace much assistance. New York has provided Santana with an average of 3.63 runs, among the worst support of any qualifying starter in the majors.
Santanaâ€™s lone career start against the Cardinals (40-33) was a complete-game, 9-1 win on July 27. Albert Pujols homer was St. Louisâ€™ only extra-base hit.
- New York should get a much stiffer test when it faces Carpenter (5-1, 1.53) for the first time since opening day of the 2007 season. Carpenter gave up five runs over six innings in that 6-1 loss, the only game he pitched that season before undergoing Tommy John surgery that kept him out until last July.
- Now healthy after recovering from a strained ribcage muscle that sidelined him for a month, Carpenter is looking as good as he did when he won the 2005 NL Cy Young Award. He threw a season-high 105 pitches in his last start Saturday at Kansas City, giving up three hits and a run while striking out six in a 7-1 win.
- Carpenter has received less run support than Santana – 2.76 runs per game – but he really hasnâ€™t needed it. Opponents are hitting .163 against Carpenter, an average that would be the second-lowest in the majors if heâ€™d pitched enough innings to quality.
- Carpenter is 2-0 with a 0.40 ERA in three afternoon starts.
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