Santana, Twins reunite
NEW YORK (AP) -- Johan Santana wandered over behind the batting cage, hugged Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire and chatted with old buddy Francisco Liriano. A couple of Twins coaches stopped by, and Joe Mauer patted the pitcher on his back as he r...
NEW YORK (AP) -- Johan Santana wandered over behind the batting cage, hugged Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire and chatted with old buddy Francisco Liriano. A couple of Twins coaches stopped by, and Joe Mauer patted the pitcher on his back as he ran past.
Santana and his ex-teammates were all smiles Friday evening during a mini-reunion at Citi Field. They'll be much more serious Saturday, though, when the left-hander starts for the New York Mets in the middle game of their interleague series against the Twins.
"It was good to see some friends out there. But I'm just going to do my job," Santana said. "I think it's going to be very intense. It's going to be fun at the same time. I'm going to be ready for it."
It will be Santana's first regular-season matchup with Minnesota, the team he pitched for during his first eight major league seasons. That's where he blossomed into an ace and won two AL Cy Young Awards while helping the Twins capture four division titles.
"We always had fun," Santana said. "Great memories. The best ones that I have in my career have been there."
Minnesota's dangerous lineup features several of Santana's former teammates, including Mauer and fellow slugger Justin Morneau. The pitcher said he still follows what's going on with the Twins and he knows what's ahead of him.
"It's going to be a challenge," Santana said. "The only time I faced them was in spring training when we have those, like, bullpen sessions. But other than that, I have to go through the scouting report and see what they're trying to do. But I cannot show you my secrets. I have to make my adjustments as the game goes and try to hit my spots and try to win."