It was 50 years in the making. Tom Seaver couldn’t do it, nor could Gooden, Koosman, or even Nolan Ryan. On Friday night, Johan Santana became the first pitcher in New York Mets history to throw a no-hitter.
The 33-year-old former Cy Young Award winner has battled back from potentially career ending left shoulder surgery to put together solid numbers this season including a 3-2 record and a 2.38 ERA.
Before the game, Mets team manager Terry Collins said that he planned to limit Santana to 110 pitches. That promise didn’t hold up for long when Santana’s pitch count eventually reached 134 before retiring David Freese on a swinging strikeout to complete the game.
Of course, the no-no didn’t come without contest. Santana issued five walks, each to a different St. Louis players. In the sixth inning came controversy. Former Mets star Carlos Beltran drilled a ball down the left field line only to have it called foul. Upon review of the replay, the ball went fair over the third base bag and then hit the foul line, making it a fair ball by rule.
Later in the seventh, Mike Baxter took one for the cause by fielding a deep line drive and crashing into the wall shoulder first. He was forced to leave the game but not before recording the out and keeping the no-hitter alive.
The St. Louis Cardinals, who lead the league in batting average, have been plagued by injuries as of late. However they have still maintained a .281 team average before their face off with the Mets. It is not as if Santana no-hit the Mariners and Twins; he no-hit one of the most powerful offenses in the majors.
This is definitely one of the most impressive achievements of the year thus far.