Notes: Santana behind Gooden's pace

Notes: Santana behind Gooden's pace

NEW YORK -- The pitcher the Mets opposed Tuesday night, two-time Cy Young Award winner Johan Santana, began his evening with an 84-37 career record and a .694 winning percentage, the second highest of all time among pitchers who had thrown at least 1,000 innings and had at least 100 decisions since 1900. Santana's 15th start of 2007 came on the 18th anniversary of the game that produced the 100th victory of Dwight Gooden's big-league career.

When Gooden reached 100 victories, he had lost merely 37 times. In the history of the game, only Whitey Ford had fewer losses, 36, when he reached his 100th victory. The great Yankees pitcher won 236 games and lost 106, and produced a .690 winning percentage.

Only Spud Chandler's .717 exceeded that .690 until Santana and Pedro Martinez (.691) pushed past Ford.

As productive and successful as Santana has been, he would have to win 16 straight decisions to match Gooden's percentage at 100 victories. It is a long shot, but then Santana did win 15 of his last 17 decisions last season, and nine of his last 11 in 2005. He is the ultimate second-half pitcher these days.

Gooden, incidentally, ended his career with a 194-112 record and .634 winning percentage. His percentage with the Mets was .649. Tom Seaver, who had a .603 career percentage, had a .615 percentage with the Mets.

Be careful, it's catching: The Mets began the game Tuesday night having played 46 errorless games, second-most to the Rockies' 47, in the big leagues. The Mets' 12-game errorless streak -- May 20 to June 2 -- is the longest in the big leagues this season.

Signings: The Mets have signed five more players they selected in the 2007 First Year Player Draft, including second-round choice Brant Rustich from UCLA, a right-handed pitcher the club chose in the third round. Also signed were left-handed pitcher Eric Niesen from Wake Forest; first baseman Lucas Duda, the seventh-round selection from USC; 19th-round selection, Ernesto Gonzalez, an infielder from Wallace Community College in Alabama; and left-handed pitcher Roydrick Merritt, the club's 29th-round choice from Southern University A&M in Louisiana. The Mets have signed 29 of the 42 players they selected.

This date in Mets history -- June 20: When the '62 Mets were swept in a doubleheader by the Braves at the Polo Grounds on this date, their winning percentage fell 30 losses lower than .500 after merely 64 games. ... The Mets beat Don Drysdale on this date in 1965, scoring as many runs in nine innings as they had in three previous games (25 1/3 innings) that season. The 3-2 victory at Dodger Stadium in the second game of a doubleheader -- Sandy Koufax won the first game -- put the Mets' record against Drysdale at 2-16. They still were two months removed from beating Koufax for the first time. His record against them on June 20 that year was 12-0.

One of the most unforgettable moments in Mets history happened 25 years ago on this date after the team returned to Shea Stadium following a flight from St. Louis. Manager George Bamberger confronted Craig Swan outside the team bus after the pitcher had complained throughout the long -- it was delayed for hours -- trip home. The Mets still flew commercial flights then, and some teams had begun flying charters. When Swan challenged Bamberger, coach Frank Howard -- all 6-foot-8, 315 pounds of him -- appeared from nowhere and, with one hand grasping the pitcher at the knot of his necktie, hoisted Swan and pinned him against the bus. When Howard, nicknamed Hondo, brought Swan back to earth 20 seconds later, only remnants of Swan's shirt and anger remained. Stunned by Howard's demonstration of strength, John Stearns called Howard "Hondopolis" because "he's as big as a city."

Coming up: So effective against the Yankees on Friday night, Oliver Perez pursues his eighth victory against the Twins and Scott Baker on Wednesday night at 7:10 ET. Perez dominated the Twins as a member of the Pirates on June 18 last year, but his two-out throwing error was a critical play in a decisive, four-run rally in the eighth inning.

Marty Noble is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.