Johan Santana twisted his ankle in the fifth inning of Friday’s 8-7 loss to the Cubs, but the Mets left-hander isn’t concerned that the injury will cause him to miss any time.
“I still feel it a little bit, but I don’t think it’ll be a big deal,” Santana said. “I’ll be fine.”
The injury occurred as Santana was trying to catch Justin Turner’s flip at first base with his bare hand. Santana dropped the ball, and Reed Johnson -- who had hit a dribbler between the mound and first leading off the frame -- stepped on his ankle, causing him to go down for a moment. At the time, the score was tied at 2.
Terry Collins and Ray Ramirez came out to the mound to check on Santana, but he felt fine after throwing two warmup pitches, so Collins let him stay in.
Santana went on to give up hits to six of the next seven batters he faced -- including a crushing three-run homer to Anthony Rizzo and a solo shot by Jeff Baker -- before being lifted.
He wound up surrendering a career-high tying 13 hits -- three of them homers -- along with a season-high seven earned runs in 4 2/3 innings.
Santana (6-5) came in with the second-best ERA in the majors at home (1.16).
Collins wasn’t concerned about Santana’s ankle either. He explained his decision to keep the left-hander in the game.
“Number one, he’s made a career of getting out of trouble,” Collins said. “If anybody can do it, he can. We’re short a guy in the bullpen a little bit and I wanted to make sure we didn’t extend our bullpen that early and I thought he could get through it.”
Santana battled command issues all night long.
“They were very aggressive and coming up with big swings and big hits,” he said. “I was just trying to stay with it and keep the ball down, but a couple mistakes ended up out of the ballpark.”
Santana didn’t know how the injury occurred when it happened.
“I didn’t know if he stepped on it or anything. I just wanted to continue and try and get some outs. My execution was poor. I wasn’t thinking about it,” he said.