Johan’s Historic No-No NightBy: Sean Pidgeon
The long no no-hit streak wasn’t so much about the futility of never pitching a hitless game so much as it was a symbol of Met futility, a nice metaphor for the endearingly bad inaugural ’62 squad and the agonizing losses and collapses of ’06, ’07, and ’08. Yet, unlike the overly poeticized losing of the Boston Red Sox from 1919 through 2003 and the Chicago Cubs from 1909 through infinity, the Mets have had success. Since their inception in 1962, they’ve won two World Series and been to two more, making them a fairly above average club, behind six teams in world titles, and tied with seven more at two. Yet, there’s always been that idea of the futile Mets, the LOLMets, the blown division leads, the called third strike, a plurality of anecdotes that, as we all know, do not equal data, but must mean something! That something, that ephemerality, which probably doesn’t exist, might as well have been encapsulated in a quirky non no-hitter streak.
Still, as a Mets fan, Johan Santana’s masterpiece felt incredible. It seems right that it would come against the Cardinals, even though this in no way makes up for 2006. It felt right having Carlos Beltran make his return. It felt right for Adam Wainwright to be the losing pitcher.
I don’t have much to add to the game summary. Tyler Kepner offers a nice recap at the Times. Kepner’s colleague George Vecsey, author of Joy in Mudville, a look at the Mets’ first decade, written in 1970 following the Miracle ’69ers, adds some historical context. Joe Posnanski, who might as well be named The Best Baseball Writer in America™, talks about the Mets and no-hitters and sentimental attachment as only Joe Poz could. Finally, Surviving the Citi’s own Craig Glaser wrote an excellent piece in Baseball Prospectus just four short days ago discussing the statistical oddity of the Mets going 8,000 some games without a single pitcher throwing a no-hitter.
Congratulations, Johan. And thank you for a wonderful night!