After 50 years, 8,020 games, 2 stadiums, 2 world championships, and 134 pitches thrown last night from Johan Santana, The New York Mets can now add to their history.
Last night, the Mets faced off against the Cardinals and Johan Santana stepped up to the mound to pitch for the Mets. Nobody watching knew what was going to take place. Not even Johan himself knew the magical night he was going to have. Yet, 26 outs and 133 pitches later, on a 3-2 count, Johan threw a changeup to David Freese, the World Series MVP. What followed was an image that will remain etched in every Met fans memory. A swing and a miss and total pandemonium. Johan Santana made history and threw the first no-hitter in Mets history.
It is hard to understand how a team that has had so many great pitchers in their franchise never threw a no-hitter for the Met franchise. Names like: Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, David Cone, Ron Darling, Dwight Gooden, Nolan Ryan, Al Leiter, Pedro Martinez, Tom Glavine, never threw a no-hitter in their careers as a New York Met. Tom Seaver was the closest to achieve the feat and never did complete a no-hitter, until he was traded to the Cincinnati. Who did Seaver face? Funny enough, Seaver threw his first no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals.
A lot of speculation is being made as to whether or not this no-hitter is tainted. Carlos Beltran, now a member of the St. Louis Cardinals, hit a line drive down the third base line in the bottom of 6th inning. The third base umpire, Adrian Johnson, ruled it a foul ball and when you see it at first glance, it looked like a foul ball. Upon further review, the replay showed Johnson blew the call and the ball was actually fair, making Beltran’s line drive a hit. Nevertheless, it was called a foul ball and Beltran ended up grounding out to David Wright to start the inning. As a baseball fan, these calls either make you or break you as a fan. When Jim Joyce blew the call at first base that ruined Armando Galarraga’s perfect game, many people were up in arms imploring that the perfect game still be awarded. However, these things happen in sports, especially in baseball. The infamous call in the 1985 World Series cost the St. Louis Cardinals Game 6 and lost in Game 7, making the Kansas City Royals the 1985 World Champions. There is nothing you can do to fix the calls and even the players understand this and one thing to understand, three more innings remained in the game for the Cardinals to get a hit. Johan Santana, going beyond the distance, still kept them without a hit.
What Johan Santana did last night was more than a no-hitter. Santana did not pitch all of last season as he recovered from surgery and has just been dominant the entire year, even though his record does not show for it. He pitched a shutout against the San Diego Padres on Saturday, who are now the only franchise to not have a no-hitter. He went the distance again and reminded all of us how pitchers were back in the old days, throwing as much as they could and as long as they could game after game. Also, Santana did not throw a no-hitter to a weak offense because the St. Louis Cardinals are the number one offense in the National League and are the defending World Champions. Santana threw a no-hitter for a reason and that is because he is what embodies the New York Mets. A pitcher who day in and day out works hard for his team and for the fans. Someone who will do whatever it takes to win even when no one else thinks it is possible.
During the 9th inning while Johan was pitching, SNY panned their cameras to a close up of each New York Met on the field. Lucas Duda mentioned in an article earlier in the week this is a young and hungry team who have gone through the minors and into the majors together, making them like family. The only two former All Star players on that field were Johan Santana and David Wright. The New York Mets have always lived in the shadow of their crosstown rivals, the New York Yankees. This year though, the Mets did not need money or all-stars to thrive, they just needed each other and the drive to win. Johan displayed last night and you could see it in every of the players on the Mets faces’. This is a team hungry to win, a team united, and a team ready to make history. Johan has the ball rolling throwing the first no-hitter in Met history and has now etched his name in Mets history as one of the greatest pitchers to put on a Met uniform. 8,020 games, 134 pitches, and no hits later, Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Nolan Ryan, meet Johan Santana, the first Met pitcher to throw a no-hitter.