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Johan Santana’s no-hitter is the latest step on his road to redemption

Jun 1, 2012, 10:41 PM EDT

Johan Santana Getty Getty Images

When the Mets acquired Johan Santana from the Twins in February of 2008 and signed him to a six-year, $137.5 million contract, he was supposed to be the piece that would bring the team back to the postseason.

Things haven’t exactly worked out that way, as the Mets narrowly missed the playoffs in 2008 and have endured three straight losing seasons since. Santana underwent shoulder surgery in August of 2010 and didn’t throw a pitch in the majors last year. There were many who doubted whether he would ever throw a pitch in the majors again, let alone resemble the ace we saw in the past. Perhaps we shouldn’t underestimate him any longer.

After going the distance in a 9-0 win over the Padres last Saturday, Santana went a step further this evening by tossing the first no-hitter in Mets’ history as part of an 8-0 win over the Cardinals. Finally. After 50 years and 8,020 games, the Mets have their first no-hitter. And they said it would never happen.

Sure, it wasn’t the prettiest. Santana walked five and needed a career-high 134 pitches to get it done. We’ll hear plenty about third base umpire Adrian Johnson, who missed a would-be double by Carlos Beltran down the third base line in the top of the sixth inning. With expanded replay, the Mets might not have had this moment. Of course, we could probably cherry pick other no-hitters which had similar controversial plays, too. We all know this game isn’t perfect. Not right now. Probably not ever. But that’s a conversation for another time. Sometimes it’s a real drag to dwell on the negative when somebody accomplishes something pretty awesome. And tonight was pretty awesome, whether you are a Mets fan or not.

After missing all of last season rehabbing from shoulder surgery, the resurgent Santana now has a fantastic 2.38 ERA and 68/21 K/BB ratio over 68 innings this year. He still hasn’t led the Mets back to the postseason, but tonight he provided the first real “moment” since Citi Field opened its doors in 2009. And it didn’t hurt that he did it against the Cardinals, who defeated the Mets in seven games in the 2006 NLCS.

  1. pensfan603 - Jun 1, 2012 at 10:54 PM


  2. Chris Fiorentino - Jun 1, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    I love Santana and baseball is a far better game with him pitching in it as opposed to being on the shelf for long periods of time. He was my favorite non-Phillies pitcher when he pitched for the Twinkies.

    However, if we are all going to call Armando Galarraga’s game a perfect game after the blown call by Jim Joyce, then we kinda have to call this game a one-hitter because of the horrendous call by Adrian Johnson. Just as if Joyce had made the right call Galarraga would have had the perfect game, Santana would not have had the no-hitter if Johnson had made the right call.

    You can call it cherry-picking, but living in the here and now, this “no-hitter” is tainted in my eyes. And I LOVE Santana. I’m happy for him. Wonder if the same people who were calling for the asterisk in Galarraga’s perfect game will call for an asterisk in this one?

    • rfcdubya - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:16 PM

      If memory serves me correct,bud selig refused to overturn Joyce’s call and it is not listed in the books as a perfect game but a one hitter, meaning that we must consider johan’s effort as a no hitter.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:19 PM

        Oh I agree with you. Just pointing out the hypocrisy is all. I haven’t seen a single person talk about Johnson’s horrendous call. Yet all we heard about was Joyce’s missed call in the “perfect game”. And this was a far easier call than what Joyce had because the proof was crystal clear. This was no judgment call. The ball hit the chalk for crying out loud. And yet……crickets from the national media. Why? Probably because Johan is such a good guy and I get that. I love the guy. But it is what it is. A “no-hitter”.

      • ezthinking - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:25 PM

        Not seeing any hippocrisy at all. The call was brought up on MLB Network and ESPN. It was not a clear call. Beltran himself never argued it. No one on St. Lou did until the replay. Galarrag’s was instantly in controversy.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:29 PM

        Stevie Wonder saw the chalk come up from the baseline. And isn’t it ironic that as hard as the Cardinals argued NOBODY got ejected? Why? Because the umpire knew he was wrong. Everybody knew he was wrong.

        All I am saying is that THE STORY in the Galarraga was the missed call. In this story, it’s being glossed over instead of being a larger part of the story. I want to see somebody in the national media say this was really what it was…a one-hitter. But nobody has the guts to do it. Except me. No biggie. Thumb me down all you want HBT. But inside you know I’m right.

      • ezthinking - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:39 PM

        On replay they saw chalk, just like you. Live, no one was shouting. Not Beltran, the third base coach, Matheny, no one.

        On the contrary, the call is all over the news. You’re bitching about nothing. Go to bed, you’ll feel better tomorrow.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:44 PM

        The call is an after-thought. It should be the news. The Mets were handed a no-hitter by a horrendous call from an umpire. Just like a perfect game was stolen by an umpire, a no-hitter was handed to the Mets by an umpire. It’s an outrage. Beltran didn’t complain because he wasn’t 10 feet away from the call like the umpire was.

      • ezthinking - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:50 PM

        Beltran’s probably not as outraged as you.

        Good for you to have a cause though. Go get’em.

      • Chooch51Ruiz - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:50 PM

        forget the books, we know this is a one hitter with 26 outs and i will place the asterisk next to this game like I already have one placed next to “Galarraga’s perfect game”

      • geshtahl - Jun 2, 2012 at 1:37 AM

        Please don’t feed the trolls.

      • Dusty Baker Clogs the Dugout - Jun 2, 2012 at 2:26 AM

        @ezthinking… Beltran postgame (heard the soundbite on Baseball Tonight): “one hit wasn’t going to make a difference tonight.”

        So, yeah, it does indeed sound like he doesn’t much care… So maybe everybody else shouldn’t be too fired up either.

  3. fb29 - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    Against the best offense in baseball. First no hitter in Mets history. Couldn’t script it better.

    Even as a Braves fan, tonight I am happy for the Mets.

  4. stabonerichard - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:05 PM

    Is there a pitcher in baseball history with multiple Cy Young awards and a no-hitter on his resume… that’s not in the Hall of Fame?

    I’m not saying Johan is there yet but guys like him and Halladay are not too far off.

    • ezthinking - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:34 PM

      Bret Saberhagen, two Cy’s and a no hitter. Not in the Hall.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 2, 2012 at 12:04 AM

        Nothing “Saber” gets respect from HOF voters

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:34 PM

      Bret Saberhagen had a no hitter and 2 CYs.

      For those saying Santana won’t be affected by the high pitch-count, look at the last guy to throw a no hitter this year…Weaver. 121 pitches and hasn’t been the same since. and now he’s on the shelf. And he’s younger without the injury history of Santana.

      • ezthinking - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:46 PM

        How could anyone pin a later injury on this game when he is so injury prone anyway? There may be a correlation, but it is never 1 + 1 = 2. The post-game no-hitter parties and endless interviews are probably just as likely a cause.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:52 PM

        Injury prone + 134 pitches = Likely DL stint in the next couple months. I hope not. I love Santana. And I would have left him in like Collins did. The Mets and their fans needed something after years of being stepped on by the Phillies the last 5 years. I doubt postgame parties and endless interviews have much to do with it though, so I disagree with you there.

      • colehamelz - Jun 2, 2012 at 12:50 AM

        This Chris guy is a moron. Dude has no concept of what it is to be an Old School pitcher and handle a high pitch count. I cannot admire anything done by the Mets, and if I was Johan I would’ve drilled a guy as a cherry on top of the no-no, but I will say there’s nothing wrong with an Old School pitch count of 130+.

  5. redux23 - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    We call this pitching an “Edwin Jackson”

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:26 PM

      LOL so true. At least this is something for the Mets fans to hold onto when they are 10 back in mid-August.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 2, 2012 at 12:06 AM

        Bitter much? Don’t be jealous. I’m sure Halladay will pitch well when he comes back…in 2013.

      • ezthinking - Jun 2, 2012 at 12:30 AM

        I’d be mad too if I was dead. I’m impressed that the afterlife has the Internet.

        Or maybe he isn’t dead and jail has the Internet. Interesting as well.

        Or maybe he’s bitter because he shares a name with these dudes.

  6. trybe29dr - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    You had to know there were gonna be a few trolls that were gonna piss in your corn flakes…go to sleep losers…

    • chill1184 - Jun 2, 2012 at 12:04 AM

      You should see the ESPN forums, 100x worse.

  7. nyjnacho6 - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:58 PM

    lol embarrasing@chris…what u so mad about? santana took ur girl for a nite or something? its a no hitter thats it..u can prob o back in time find alot things that didnt happen back in the day..there was no instant replay in the 20s,30,40s,etc so please bro.and im a yankee fan but to see citifield rocking like that was awesome,,

  8. trybe29dr - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    Well chooch luckily no one recognizes your “record books” as nothing more than the idiotic rantings of an over obsessed hater…

  9. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 2, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Sorry to the haters, but if you want a call to go a hitters way in the middle of a no-hitter, make it a no-doubter. If it is borderline, it SHOULD go to the pitcher.

    Congrats to Johan and the Mets fans. If any Philly fans can’t appreciate a great moment for baseball, they should intentionally vomit on themselves, boo Santa and throw batteries at their mothers.

    • recoveringcubsfan - Jun 2, 2012 at 11:21 AM

      Uhhh, no. The Cardinals – any team, really – deserved fair umpiring, not to get jobbed as you’re suggesting they SHOULD have been, in the middle of a no-hitter. What the hell are you saying? Think about it.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 2, 2012 at 2:44 PM

        Nobody deserves a bad call. But if an umpire is going to make a call then ends a legit no-hit bid, he should be damned sure it is a hit. Seeing Beltran’s non-hit in real speed, it was not clear, so I think the umpire made the right call. Yes, replay would have probably turned it over, but I still think the ump needs to be 100% sure to end the no hitter. If he is 50/50, he SHOULD call in the pitcher’s favor.

  10. chill1184 - Jun 2, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    The media loves pouring the negativity on the team so when they do something positive they cant let the team have it. $20 says that the Ministry of Truth (ESPN) will create a No-Hitter-Gate and run it wild. In addition you can bet your ass the ghetto trash NY media (led by the overrated, overweight Mike Francesa) will belittle the accomplishment.

    However karma has an interesting workings, the more you suffer the better your luck is in the future. Sandy Alderson (who is hated by the media because he views them as vultures) replacing Omar Minaya (changing of the team culture), getting the Giants top prospect Zack Wheeler in the Beltran trade, the Madoff cloud being lifted. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

  11. bestcoastinfluence - Jun 2, 2012 at 12:28 AM

    How did the Mets not have a no-hitter before tonight? I mean I can understand the Padres, but the Metropolitans. Come on now. Oh well. Santana looked dominant tonight.

  12. ningenito78 - Jun 2, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    Chris Fiorentino- Shut. The. F–k. Up. Nobody cares what a Philly fan thinks of the no-hitter. Blah blah blah. I’m not even a Mets fan but you an your 17 posts trying to break down the Joyce call and tonight’s no hitter and asterisks. Just find something to do.

  13. aceshigh11 - Jun 2, 2012 at 3:27 AM

    Awesome achievement after what he’s been through!

    Congratulations to Mr. Santana and the NY Mets.

  14. ezwriter69 - Jun 2, 2012 at 4:00 AM

    All you Mets fans who’ve been HATING on this man for three years don’t DARE show your face now… you hate this man, don’t you even THINK about celebrating this, he’s a bum, he’s a loser, he’s got no heart, I can’t begin to list all the hateful things y’all have spewed about this man. Don’t you DARE take pleasure in this. You HATE this man, don’t be so hypocritical and two-faced as to praise him now or celbrate his achievements. You wanted him and his contract gone, you have NO right cheer now. Bleep y’all, that’s what Johan should have said, but of course he wouldn’t, being anything but the despicable things y’all have called him. Just shut the bleep up, every bleeping one of you.

  15. djm426 - Jun 2, 2012 at 6:55 AM

    I can’t stand the marlins n mets in general, but it was nice to see Santana pull this off,good comeback story

  16. socaldave2011 - Jun 2, 2012 at 7:09 AM

    As a Twins fan it was nice to see him finally get one.

  17. hojo20 - Jun 2, 2012 at 10:15 AM

    Part of the road to redemption is getting past that attempted rape charges.

  18. recoveringcubsfan - Jun 2, 2012 at 11:23 AM

    I believe that this was the highest pitch count in Santana’s career, so it’ll be interesting to see if he gets dead arm in a few weeks and then how he finishes the season. Mets fans will be pumped for his next start, no doubt, but it must come with at least some trepidation.

  19. ermur22 - Jun 2, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    Chris get a life….every no hitter has questionable calls that can go either way and that was not an easy call. IT WAS A NO HITTER GO CRY ABOUT IT LOSER!!

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