The Mets will activate Santana on Saturday to start the second game of their three-game set with the Braves. He will be looking to stop a stretch of poor starts since throwing the first no-hitter in Mets history on June 1 against the Cardinals. Since that night, Santana has made eight starts and has a 6.54 ERA.
Manager Terry Collins said Santana will be limited to 90 pitches Saturday and in the rest of his starts this season. Collins said he is hopeful the two weeks worth of rest he got while on the DL has helped Santana.
"I think the rest has been good for him," Collins said. "Hopefully going forward in the next six weeks, we'll see the Johan Santana that we saw in the first few weeks."
The Braves will counter with right-hander Kris Medlen. He will be making his third start since moving from the bullpen to the rotation to replace struggling right-hander Jair Jurrjens.
Medlen will also likely be limited to between 90 and 100 pitches. He threw 79 pitches Sunday against the Astros, allowing one run in 5 1/3 innings. Manager Fredi Gonzalez was impressed by Medlen's effort.
"Medlen did a terrific job," Gonzalez said. "I think we got him as far as we wanted to."
The Braves' bullpen, which has the best ERA in the Major Leagues since July 3, will be ready to pick up any slack created by Medlen's pitch count. Following Thursday's off-day and left-hander Paul Maholm's shutout Friday night, the bullpen has had two days of rest.
Braves: Chipper, McCann expected to return to lineup
Third baseman Chipper Jones and catcher Brian McCann were both unexpectedly out of the Braves' lineup in Friday's series opener, won by Atlanta, 4-0. McCann missed the game after getting a cortisone shot in his right shoulder, while Jones was a late scratch due to a tight back.
But both Jones and McCann are predicted to play Saturday against the Mets and Santana.
Jones and McCann have both had success against Santana in their careers. Jones is 4-for-14 with two doubles and a home run. McCann is 9-for-35 with three home runs.
Mets: Streak over, Tejada still among baseball's best
Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada went 0-for-3 with a strikeout in the Mets' 4-0 loss Friday night, snapping his 14-game hitting streak. Tejada's streak ended one game shy of this season's team high of 15, held by David Wright.
The hitless night dropped Tejada's batting average to .319. But Tejada still leads Major League shortstops in batting average. Derek Jeter's .313 mark is the second best.
The Braves have won 10 of their last 14 road games and have the second-best road record in the Major Leagues (32-21). The Mets have lost 10 of their last 11 games at Citi Field.