Saturday’s pitching preview: Santana vs. Medlen

Johan Santana (6-7, 3.98 ERA) will start for the Mets tonight. Santana makes his return to the mound tonight after spending three weeks on the disabled list with a sprained ankle. He did make three starts after injuring his ankle – he went 0-3 with a 13.51 ERA in those three starts. The Braves have torched Santana in three starts this season – he is 0-2 with a 7.94 ERA in 11 1/3 innings this season against Atlanta.



Kris Medlen (2-1, 2.37 ERA) will start for the Braves tonight.

Medlen is making his third start of the year after making 38 relief appearances this season. He allowed a run in 5 1/3 innings against the Astros last Sunday, and he allowed a run in five innings to the Marlins in his first start on July 31. Medlen has made five relief appearances against the Mets this season, and he’s allowed a run in 9 1/3 innings against them.

Michael Baron, Contributor

As I said earlier, it will be interesting to see if the trip to the disabled list benefitted Santana with his start tonight. After his rehab start in Brooklyn last Sunday, he told reporters he was happy to have gotten rest, and he felt as though he had very good command of his pitches. Before he went on the disabled list, Santana really struggled with the command of his change-up, and that’s the pitch he needs working in order to be successful. He can no longer dominate with an electric fastball, and so it’s essential his has a healthy mix of change-up’s and sliders to compliment his fastball. If he’s got that downward action on his change-up, it will be safe to say the rest worked to his advantage.