ATLANTA -- Not a lot of players can claim to have Mets ace Johan Santana's number.
Matt Diaz can. That's why Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez started Diaz in left field Sunday afternoon in the series finale.
"Matty's got really good numbers against Santana. Really good numbers, Numbers that you can't ignore," said Gonzalez. "We put him out there in left field and keep [Martin] Prado in the lineup somehow by moving him to second base."
Entering Sunday, Diaz had a career .514 batting average against Santana (18-for-35), with a homer, four doubles and four RBIs. Only Cubs outfielder Reed Johnson (.516) has a better average against Santana amongst hitters with at least 30 career at-bats. Diaz also boasts a .714 slugging percentage and .1.242 OPS.
In two matchups in 2012, Diaz was 2-for-3 with a single and a double.
To get Diaz in the lineup, Prado filled in for All-Star second baseman Dan Uggla, who was out of the starting lineup for just the second time this season.