Accompanied with a blown call and an amazing defensive play, Johan Santana was still able to get through nine innings of no-hit ball against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night at Citi Field, giving his team the 8-0 win.
Santana walked five and struck out eight in the effort.
Since he missed all of last season due to shoulder surgery, Santana was supposed to be on a pitch limit somewhere around 110-115 tosses at most. He pitched a career high 134. Still, the first no-hitter in Mets history and the first of Santana's career almost didn't happen.
Carlos Beltran led off the sixth inning for the Cardinals with a searing liner that looped around third base and was called foul by umpire Adrian Johnson. The replay that followed clearly showed the ball hit the chalk behind third base and should have been called fair.
And just how we see a great defensive play nearing the end of every no-hitter, Friday night was no different.
In the seventh inning outfielder Mike Baxter made an amazing grab in left field after Yadier Molina bombed a shot towards the warning track. Baxter turned and fell awkwardly into the wall while making the catch and holding onto the ball. His body slammed into the wall so hard that he lied motionless onto the field for a few moments before being helped off the field by trainers. He has been diagnosed with a shoulder bruise since then and will undergo further testing.
The no-hitter is not only impressive because of Santana's recent medical history but also because of the Cardinals offensive prowess. Coming into the weekend, the Cardinals ranked first in almost every offensive category in the National League.
The San Diego Padres are now the only other team in the bigs without a no-hitter. The Mets finally close their long bout with bad luck after throwing 35 one-hitters since coming into the league in 1962.
Photo Credit: AP