Well, it FINALLY happened!
After waiting through 8,019 games Johan Santana finally achieved the Mets’ first no-hitter on Friday night in thrilling fashion. It was as much exhilarating as it was exacerbating, as Santana kept mowing down Cardinal hitters while also accumulating an alarming pitch count.
The game was rife with drama and suspense, but after compiling a career-high 134 pitches, Santana got David Freese chasing on a 3-2 changeup with two outs in the bottom of the 9th to finally get the Mets in the record books with their first ever no-hitter.
As with any no-hitter, you have to look back to see how this happened and one of the key plays that made all of this possible was an incredible catch by Mike Baxter in the seventh inning. In what surely looked like a hit off the bat of Yadier Molina, Baxter recovered and retreated towards the left field wall and leaped to make a breathtaking catch to keep the no-hitter intact. The catch did come with consequence, as Baxter had to leave the game with a shoulder contusion.
The game also was not without its controversy as none other than Carlos Beltran (whose homecoming was overshadowed on this night) roped a scorcher down the third-base line in the sixth inning. Umpire Adrian Johnson was quick to call it a foul ball and, initially, it looked like the right call. However, after review, apparently the ball did hit the line and should have been ruled a hit. Instead, Santana was issued a mulligan and outside of the Molina drive he was never really threatened the rest of the way (although he did issue five walks).
Sometimes the umpires taketh away (see Jim Joyce, Armando Galarraga) and giveth away. However, with no instant replay, this is what you get.
This should not taint Santana’s no-hitter, though. Running on pure adrenaline, Santana was simply not going to be denied this night. After dangerously going beyond his pitch count, Terry Collins made sure the call was up to Johan to finish what he started. Now this could backfire, but you can’t interfere with fate and Collins wasn’t going to be the one who stood in the way of history.
It’s astonishing and only fitting that Santana achieve this mark; something Nolan Ryan, Tom Seaver or Doc Gooden could never accomplish here. For Santana to battle all the way back from major shoulder surgery and hurl this gem (not to mention last week’s shutout) is quite amazing.
There is just so many words to describe this feat. So, let’s turn to Twitter to see what some others are saying about Santana’s masterpiece:
First, from the man himself:
El Gocho believe it! @johansantana
Tonight we made history @mets, i want to thank all my teammates and all the fans for the support…Believe it!! You guys are the best!!!
Others chiming in:
R.A. Dickey @RADickey43
I’ve never been more proud of a teammate. Congrats to Johan Santana for the mets first no hitter in franchise history.
Linda Cohn @lindacohn
Never thought I would see it in my lifetime. Thank you Johan! #Santana #Mets
Jon Heyman @JonHeymanCBS
The long local nightmare is over. Congratulations to Johan Santana and the ny #mets.
Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN
On the 134th pitch, Santana STRIKES OUT FREESE!!!!! First no-hitter in Mets’ history!!!!!!!!!!
Jon Rauch @jrauch60
@johansantana. First #Mets No-Hitter. Ever. #GreatDayToBeAMetsFan!
Justin Turner @redturn2
Dwight Gooden @DocGooden16
Congrats to Johan Santana for throwing the first no hitter in #Mets history! Couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy, very happy for Mets fans
Adam Rubin @AdamRubinESPN
David Wright: “Short of Tom Seaver, I can’t think of a better person to pitch the first one.”
Steve Serby @NYPost_Serby
What a bulldog Johan Santana is. Still, Mets have never had back-to-back no-hitters.
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