Outside of a dominating ninth inning by Francisco Rodriguez, there was very little normal about Tuesday night's 6-5 Mets win. The Mets and Phillies combined for seven home runs, nearly a fifth of the season total at Citi Field entering play. And the balls weren't just sneaking over the wall, either. Ryan Church hit what had to be the longest home run in the park's short history in the seventh inning when he deposited a ball into the home run apple's top hat past the centerfield fence.
That wasn't the only oddity, however. Despite seven home runs, the biggest hit of the game was a double by Johan Santana after he tried and failed twice to get a sacrifice bunt down in the sixth. He showed bunt a third time, Clay Condrey grooved a pitch and Santana swung away for a double into the right field corner. It tied the game at four, and helped Santana survive a very unusual game on the mound.
He gave up all four of the Phillies' homers, allowing a 3-0 Mets lead to turn into a 4-3 deficit and then allowing the Phillies to climb back within one run after Church's homer. He was eminently hittable, wasn't striking anyone out and clearly didn't have his best stuff. And it didn't matter.
He got the double he needed to help himself out. He stabbed a line drive and turned it into a double play to escape the seventh inning. He battled, fought and won without having all of his tools at his disposal. Santana with his best stuff is impressive, but he was almost more impressive without it.