After 8,019 games, it's finally happened: a New York Mets pitcher has thrown a no-hitter. And that pitcher is Johan Santana.
Santana and the Mets beat the Cardinals tonight 8-0, with Santana holding the best offense in the National League hitless. It wasn't a perfect game, as Santana walked five St Louis hitters to go along with eight strikeouts. The game may be marred by a Carlos Beltran foul ball in the sixth inning that skipped off the chalk behind the third base bag, but was called a foul ball. That ended up keeping the no-hitter intact for Santana.
Mike Baxter made an amazing catch in the seventh inning to also help Santana preserve the no-hitter.
It's been a remarkable season for Santana, who missed all of 2011 following shoulder surgery in 2010. Coming into tonight, Santana was striking out 9.15 batters per nine innings, the highest total of his Mets career. His 2.69 FIP and 3.30 xFIP are also the lowest of his career in New York. With Santana's production so far this season, he's looking like the pitcher that the Mets traded a bounty of prospects for in the winter following the 2007 season and gave a nine figure contract to.
For the Mets, Santana's no hitter also ends a 50 year period of futility. The Mets were one of two franchises coming into tonight that had never thrown a no-hitter, despite having dominant pitchers like Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, and Dwight Gooden wearing the blue and orange over their career. Now, the lone remaining team without a no-hitter is the San Diego Padres.
Santana's no-hitter is the third this year, following Philp Humber's perfect game in April, and Jered Weaver's no-no in May. In a bit of irony, one of the prospects traded to the Twins in the Santana deal? Philip Humber.
Congratulations Johan Santana, and congratulations to the fans of the New York Mets. Take pride in this one.