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Mets at Yankees: Ace vs. Jack

We know how good Johan Santana can be, and so far this year he looks like the Santana we dreaded from '04-'06. He looks like the guy who should have won 3 straight Cy Young Awards (or, should have lost it to Mo, either way).

It still wouldn't have traded for him.

We shall not forget A.J. Burnett's disasters against the Red Sox at Fenway. But if we forgive those 7.2IP, those 13 hits, those 13 earned runs, those 6BB against 6Ks (if we can forgive it), we see a pitcher who looks much more like the man we thought we hired than the guy who has been showing up for work. His WHIP drops from 1.48 to 1.36. For a season, that difference turns Vincent Padilla into Matt Cain.

I have to think AJ will rebound, for a couple of reasons: he's never pitched 100 innings with a WHIP higher than 1.34, factor in the bandbox we call Yankee Stadium (he's made half of his starts there and is on pace to obliterate his career high in homers allowed), and consider that his hits/9 are only up a tick from last season even with the Fenway starts, so we know his stuff is still there.

Could he be pitching scared? Walks are up, but hits are not, so it's only the long ball that has been a problem.

He'll face a weak hitting team today, without Jose Reyes or Carlos Delgado, If he's ever going to right the ship, this would seem to be the time.