Saturday, June 2, 2012
All it took for the Mets to throw the first no-hitter in their franchise's history was:
-their best pitcher in probably two decades throwing a career high number of pitches in just his 11th start since coming back from shoulder surgery
-a ball that hit the line being called foul by the third-base umpire, a call so egregious that the game had to be delayed so that Cardinals 3rd base coach Jose Oquendo could be dragged away from the umpire.
-a fantastic catch made by Whitestone, NY native and lifelong Mets fan Mike Baxter, who laid on the ground in agony after crashing into the wall with an apparent shoulder injury. He held onto the ball though.
-Johan Santana throwing his 132nd, 133rd, and 134th pitches for strikes after falling behind 3-0 to last year's World Series MVP, David Freese. The last changeup was an absolutely beautiful pitch which fell off the table just before crossing home plate.
I don't know at what point in the team's history it became such a noteworthy fact that they had never had a no-hitter, but I've lived most of my life as a Mets fan in awareness of the lack of it. There were close calls from the likes of Rick Reed, Glendon Rusch, John Maine, Steve Trachsel, Bobby J. Jones (I was there), Tom Glavine and R.A. Dickey, but it always proved elusive. Every time I had tickets to a game, I always dreamed of it being the night. Every time a Met pitcher got through the first few innings without giving up a hit, I struggled to keep perspective and not get my hopes up.
But now the Great Santana has stepped up and filled the void. No more counting the games, no more Curse of Nolan Ryan, no more ridicule for going so long without. You're up, San Diego!