Kenyan students re-enact Bill Buckner’s error leading to the Mets winning run in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series
Santana “did nothing noteworthy in his last outing.” - Wall Street Journal
What the who??
If I was drinking something right now, I’d spit it out in equal parts surprise and confusion.
Many Mets fans can agree that loving the Mets can be a lot like a bad relationship. For some, the events of the last few years felt like the last straw. Avoiding the park simply out of a feeling of betrayal from a franchise that wouldn’t resign one of our most beloved players in Jose Reyes and after squandering millions of dollars on a bad deal with a convicted felon.
We may never know how much the Mets knew about Madoff, but the whole affair left a bad taste in the mouth of some fans and questioning the baseball moves of the team seemed quaint as compared to the sick-to-your-stomach feeling that ownership might be involved in some very bad things.
Last night, I started to forgive and tried to forget. This season was not expected to yield much. A rebuilding year. A franchise coming out of the nuclear winter of financial ruin less devestated than worried they might be, but still battered. June 1st, a game out of first place, several games above five hundred than this late in some time.
And a miracle.
In some ways last night was almost as sweet as a World Series win, not quite, but so rare, for this team at least. Something the team has longed to achieve for 50 seasons. They’ve won two World Series championships. They never had a pitcher toss a no-hitter. You go through every game with the hope this might be the one. That’s a lot of games and a lot of longing. This was big. This was special.
Who knows what the rest of the season holds for this team, but something changed. This was a turning point for some people and allowed me to finally move on and enjoy it with the baggage a little less heavy.
Terry cried, I cried and I finally remembered what it was like to really truly fall in love with this team again.
Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter ever for the New York Mets as he blanked the visiting World Series champion St Louis Cardinals 8-0 at Citi Field on Friday with the help of a big break and a big assist from outfielder Mike Baxter.
The Venezuelan struck out World Series MVP David Freese on a change-up in the dirt to end the game with his eighth strikeout and unleash a huge celebration in the middle of the diamond.
- The Mets played 8,020 games before they secured a no-hitter.
- The Mets won their first no-hitter in their 50th season
- Mike Baxter made an incredible catch to preserve the no-hitter, injuring his shoulder in the process. Baxter grew up in Queens rooting for the Mets.
- The hitter Baxter robbed was Yadier Molina, who hit a two run home run in the top of the ninth inning in Game 7 of the NLCS in 2006. The Cardinals won the game 3-1, knocking the Mets out of the playoffs. The Cardinals went on to win the World Series, beating the Detroit Tigers in five games.
- This was the first game Carlos Beltran returned to Queens in a Cardinals uniform. As a Met, Beltran had a chance to beat the Cardinals in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 7 of that NLCS in 2006. The tying runs were on base, with two outs, and Beltran himself representing the winning run. He struck out on a nasty curveball by Adam Wainwright, who started tonight’s game.
- In the sixth inning, Carlos Beltran hit a hard line drive down the left field line that appears to have landed on the third base foul line, making it a fair ball and breaking up the no-hitter. The umpire called the ball foul and after reviewing the replay after the game refused to comment.
- Only two teams in baseball had yet to have a pitcher toss a no-hitter going into tonight’s game. The San Diego Padres are the only team left, 43 seasons, 6,895 games without a no-hitter. The Mets had the longest streak of seasons without a no-hitter.
- Johan Santana threw 135 pitches, his most ever. Terry Collins told Johan, “you’re my hero” when he came to the mound to see if Santana was able to keep pitching after throwing his 118th pitch in the 8th inning. Collins later became emotional at the press conference following the game discussing what he told Johan, and said “I couldn’t take him out, I couldn’t”
- The most pitches Santana had thrown before this was 108.
- Santana did not have his best stuff, he struck out just 8 and walked 5 batters.
- Johan also tossed the first back to back complete game shut outs for the Mets since 1992, by David Cone.
- Johan Santana became the eighth player in MLB history to throw a no-hitter against the defending World Series champions. Last pitcher to do it was Nolan Ryan, against the defending champion Athletics, in 1990.
- Johan missed the entire 2011 season with a surgically repaired shoulder. Pretty sure nobody has ever pitched a no-hitter after missing an entire season to injury. UPDATE: Elias says, Santana was the third non-rookie pitcher in the last 50 years to throw a no-hitter after missing a season to injury. The other two: Jim Palmer in 1969 and Doc Gooden in 1996.
- 13 ex-Met pitchers threw no-hitters after leaving the Mets, 2 pitched perfect games. Former Met David Cone pitched a perfect game for the Yankees. Philip Humber pitched a perfect game for the White Sox.
- The Cardinals have the best offense in the National League, they lead the league in home runs, runs, and batting average.
- The last time the Cardinals were no-hit was 1990, by Fernando Valenzuela.
- This was only the 13th game where Santana pitched a full 9 innings in 272 career starts.
- Josh Thole, who caught Santana’s perfect game, was appearing in his first game since missing nearly an entire month with a concussion.
- This was the first no-hitter thrown by an NL pitcher since Roy Halladay in the 2010 NLDS, before that, the last five no-hitters were by AL pitchers.
- The last pitcher to throw a shutout and then a no-hitter in consecutive starts was Dave Righetti in 1983.
- Santana is the 4th pitcher to have won multiple Cy Young Awards before his first no-hitter. The other four: Josh Gibson, Bret Saberhagen, and Tom Seaver.
Where Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden, and Dave Mlicki failed before, Johan Santana succeeded. Queens finally has a no-hitter to call their own.
9 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 8 SO and 134 pitches on a surgically repaired arm.