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Santana throws a no-hitter for (amazingly) the Mets

By Danny Knobler | Baseball Insider
NEW YORK -- There's no such thing as a normal Mets no-hitter.

Or maybe this was it.

How would we know, because the Mets were the team that quite famously had never had a no-hitter.

Until now.

Until Johan Santana, in just his 11th game back after major shoulder surgery, no-hit the Cardinals on Friday night . . . while throwing far more pitches than he had thrown in any game post-surgery . . . with the help of an apparently blown call by third-base umpire Adrian Johnson . . . and a great catch by Mike Baxter.

Johnson called a sixth-inning line drive by Carlos Beltran foul, even though replays clearly showed that it had hit the chalk of the foul line just in front of him. Cardinals third-base coach Jose Oquendo and manager Mike Matheny argued, but Santana got another chance at Beltran and got him to hit a ground ball to third base.

Baxter banged into the left-field wall and somehow held onto a long fly ball by Yadier Molina in the seventh.

Beltran didn't get his hit. Molina didn't get his hit. And neither did any of their Cardinals teammates.

This is how the Mets got a no-hitter. For all we know, this is the only way the Mets will ever get a no-hitter.

They're into their 51st season. Friday's game was their 8,020th.

And they'd never had a no-hitter.

Santana had three three-hitters, all pre-surgery. The Mets had 35 one-hitters, most recently by R.A. Dickey. Pitchers had thrown no-hitters before coming to the Mets, and after leaving the Mets (does Nolan Ryan ring a bell?).

The Mets never had one -- until now.

Until Santana, whose fastballs clocked in at 88-89 mph (standard for him so far in this comeback season), made it through the Cardinals order for 27 outs.

It seemed there was no way he would. The Mets hadn't allowed Santana to throw more than 108 pitches in any start this year. Even before surgery, he had never thrown more than 125 pitches in a game.

Friday, his pitch count was at 93 through six innings. He got more efficient as he went on, but it was still at 122 through eight.

He got Matt Holliday on a first-pitch fly ball to start the ninth. He got Allen Craig on a fly ball. He struck out David Freese, finishing with 134 pitches.

And finishing with Mets history.

Finally, a no-hitter.
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