Fifty years of non-history have finally ended as Mets ace Johan Santana hurled the franchise’s first no-hitter. It only took 8,020 games.
Two-time Cy Young winner Johan Santana was a one-man juggernaut Friday night as he dominated the St. Louis Cardinals for all nine innings, giving up only five walks.
As always is the case in no-hitters, there were some miraculous plays in the game. Top of the list was left-fielder Mike Baxter crashing into the wall and injuring his shoulder making a great catch in the seventh inning.
This followed a missed call in the sixth inning, in which former Met Carlos Beltran hit a ball over third base which hit the line, but was ruled foul.
There were a few karmic twists to the game. It was former Met Carlos Beltran’s first game back in New York since being traded last year. Tonight’s losing pitcher Adam Wainwright is the same guy who famously struck out the aforementioned Beltran to end the 2006 NLCS. And the final out was made by Adam Freese, last year’s World Series hero for the Cardinals.
Santana, who improves to 3-2 and 2.38 on the season, and who has thrown consecutive complete game shutouts, is coming back from shoulder surgery after missing the end of the 2010 season and all of the 2011 season.
Mets manager Terry Collins admitted openly in the postgame news conference that he is very concerned how Santana will react to throwing 134 pitches in the game. Santana had been on a strict 110-115 pitch count due to his surgery last season.
But when Collins visited the mound in the eighth, Santana stared him off steadfastly and so he stayed in the game to complete the historic feat, one which many Mets fans believed they’d never witness.
The Mets no no-hit curse doesn’t quite equate to the World Series curses that hovered over the Red Sox and White Sox for almost 90 years and which still torments the Chicago Cubs after 104 years, but it tormented fans and the franchise nonetheless.
The Mets have had some of the finest pitching talent in baseball pass through their system in the last 50 years and in fact have thrown the second most one-hitters in baseball since their founding. Pitchers like Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, David Cone, Dwight Gooden, Phil Humber and more, have all pitched no-hitters after having tenures with the Mets.
Thanks to Johan Santana the curse is finally dead!