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If He Maintains This Pace...

Johan Santana, 11 starts to his name in 2009, is 1/3 of the way through his season, with a 7-3 record, and a 2.00 ERA. If we presume he maintains the same pace through a full schedule of 33 starts, here's what we'll have.

* The first Mets pitcher with 21+ wins since...
Dwight Gooden went 24-4 in 1985. The only pitchers with a 21+ win season as a Met are Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, and Dwight Gooden. He'd be the first 20-game winner since Frank Viola in 1990.

* The first Mets pitcher with 267+ strikeouts since...
Dwight Gooden had 268 strikeouts in 1985. 267 would put Santana 5th in Mets history behind two seasons apiece of Msrs. Seaver and Gooden.

* The first Mets starting pitcher to average 11+ K per 9 since...
Dwight Gooden's 1985 season is the only one by a Mets starter (10+ starts) averaging 11-strikeouts per game or better. Santana's 11.13 is just a shade below Gooden's 11.39.

* The lowest ERA by a Mets starter since...
Dwight Gooden had a 1.53 ERA in 1985. Tom Seaver had a 1.76 ERA in 1971. No other Mets starter has had an ERA below 2. Santana is right on the cusp at 2.00.

* The first NL pitcher with 21+ wins and an ERA of 2.00 or below since...
Dwight Gooden managed that combo in 1985, as did John Tudor. Those two and Steve Carlton (1972) are the only NL pitchers to do that since the mound was lowered and the pitcher's edge was taken away starting in 1969.

* The first Mets starting pitcher not to allow a stolen base since...
Well, no one has done that, actually. Every pitcher to start at least 10 games in a season for the Mets has allowed at least one stolen base (Jack Fisher and Kenny Rogers each had Mets seasons allowing just one). Johan Santana has not yielded one yet in 2009. And for the record, Dwight Gooden allowed 22 steals with his high leg kick in 1985.

Of course, the other issue is this: Johan Santana is on pace for 9 losses this season.

What was it that Charlie Samuels joked to Dwight Gooden in 1985?

"If you hadn't lost any games, we'd have finished in first place."

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