The most gratifying thing that could be taken out of Santana's performance is the fact that he is currently pitching on a standard four days of rest. Due to a lot of scheduled days off in April and the early part of May, Santana, like the Mets other starting pitchers, had the benefit of getting the extra day of rest. He managed to spin this gem after last pitching on Monday, where he was given a four run lead that he ended up giving back to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Of course, it will be important to see how he feels tomorrow and the next day, but indications are he has been feeling fine.
Signs that Santana is healthy could be traced back to spring training. While you did not need to go further than the latest "Mets" column to hear all the pessimism regarding his recovery, anybody who actually watched him pitch would see that was able to spot his fastball immediately as well as not alter his arm motion while throwing his change-up. This was effective almost right away. The major concerns were over how he would respond after throwing 60-70-70-90-100 pitches. And though that was a justifiable concern, it seems like he has overcome those worries.
Remember the same concern that was out there for Beltran last spring. Beltran played in one ST game as a DH until the last week of spring. He played in just about all the games in the last week and pronounced himself ready to go for opening day. After a couple days off in the first three series of the season, Beltran proceeded to be the regular player he has been his entire career, making the NL All Star team before being traded to the Giants in July.
Many fans like to go the superstitious route to things with the Mets. And given the recent history over the past three plus seasons, I don't blame anybody. Santana is clearly letting it out on the mound; he is holding nothing back. There are no signs that anything is effecting his delivery, nor does he seem to be in any sort of visible pain. I don't know if Johan Santana can return to his Cy Young form. But, there is no reason he cannot make the rest of his starts. And if he does, the numbers will be there and hopefully fans forget that the guy is coming off major shoulder surgery.