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Wednesday, July 7, 2010
The Closer: don't mess with the Johan

By ESPN Stats & Info

Johan Santana has often struggled with run support in his Mets career, so Tuesday he took matters into his own hands. Santana capped off a 12-pitch at-bat in the 3rd inning by hitting his first career home run. Santana then went on to throw a shutout becoming the first pitcher since Mike Hampton in 2005 to allow three-or-fewer hits in a shutout and hit a home run in the same game. We break down how Santana got it done on the mound in this edition of The Closer.

Why Johan Santana shut out the Reds:
- Threw 82 percent (28/34) first-pitch strikes, his highest since June 9, 2009 (a span of 31 starts); went to just two 2-0 counts
- Hitters went 0-13 off his fastball, the first time since allowing an 0-11 on August 19, 2007 (a span of 83 starts) that he didn't allow a hit off his fastball
- Threw changeup for a season-high 83 percent (24-29) strikes, including 10 chases in 15 changeups out of the strike zone (season-high 67 percent; MLB avg is 31); hitters went 1-13
- Retired an MLB season high-tying eight batters on the first pitch


Johan Santana had his changeup working tonight. He threw it for strikes, got hitters to swing at pitches in and out of the strike zone, and retired 12 batters with the changeup for the second time this season. Here's a next-level look at some season highs Santana set or tied with his changeup Tuesday.