No Mo No No Nos Mets Edition
Santana had help in his no-no. (US Presswire)The Mets' no no-no duct was never wholly as uncertain as we through it out to be. The San Diego Padres, founded in 1969, admit never thrown a no-hitter.* The Cleveland Indians admit not thrown one in haughty than 30 existence, The Milwaukee Brewers admit thrown clearly one in their history (Juan Nieves, of all folks) and the Toronto Minimal Jays admit further thrown honorable one (haughty companionable -- it was Dave Stieb). The Mets, with a 50-year understatement, further did not set the cassette for highest successive existence lacking a no-hitter... they were not like a house on fire close by. The Philadelphia Phillies did not bedspread one for 57 existence."*Though the Padres admit been no-hit seven mature."And as far as the Mets having a lot of convincing pitchers who threw no-hitters away, well, yes that's brand of interesting in the "Kennedy had a secretary named Lincoln" form of way. But masses, masses, masses convincing pitchers never threw no-hitters at all. Greg Maddux never threw a no-hitter. Steve Carlton never threw a no-hitter. Tom Glavine... Pete Alexander... Don Drysdale... Don Sutton... Sam McDowell... Pedro Martinez (but I ever counted the nine upgrade innings he threw against the Padres in 1995)... Whitey Ford... Fergie Jenkins... John Smoltz... and the highest uncertain of all, Roger Clemens... none of these pitchers threw no-nos. How in the world did Roger Clemens, one of the highest unhittable pitchers in history, never bedspread a no-hitter?Well, even the Clemens thing is not that uncertain. I mean how masses no-hitters would you admit raw Roger Clemens to throw? One? That's how masses Bob Gibson threw... and Walter Johnson... and Tom Seaver... and Jim Palmer. If you would clearly assume Clemens to bedspread one no-hitter (or conceivably two), you can't really say it's uncertain that it didn't go on.So, no, the Mets' no-hitter duct was not so imaginative. But it felt imaginative. And that's what through Friday night so cool. I've on paper this before: Sports are encouraged by context. I detain folks say -- and I concentration admit been open to say it in person -- that they don't understand why character likes NASCAR: It's honorable cars leaving in circles. But if you cooperation about the tragedy (or if you admit daughters who instantaneously cooperation), and people aren't honorable cars but they are folks -- folks with rivals, with inspirational stories, with nauseating behavior and so on -- so instantaneously it method a lot. Let's surface it, you can drop all our games to the "Basically" line -- it's honorable cars leaving in circles... it's honorable gawky men putting balls in baskets... it's honorable whopping daredevils in helmets smashing happening each other... it's honorable a guy with a bat drumming a tablet that each person chases... and so on. They're all "honorable" games unless we infuse them with meaning.That's the convincing thing: We DO infuse them with meaning. You did not admit to know a testimony thing about soccer to taste the think about such as Manchester Civil, with the highest outrageous rejoinder, won the Main Citizens for the foremost time in 44 existence. Was it really THAT uncertain for Manchester Civil to go four decades lacking winning? I don't know adequate about it, but from away from I would admit understood no. Everybody can admit told me that Manchester Civil had NEVER won, and it would not admit staggered me. In my restricted detection, Manchester Intersection seems to win the thing every other blind date -- they're want the Yankees. Weapon store wins a lot. Chelsea has been good at the end. Liverpool unavailable for a while. But it doesn't interrogate if it actually IS uncertain. It clearly matters that it SEEMS uncertain. That's the power of these games. And that's why folks were howling with joy such as Manchester Civil won.The Mets' no-hitter understatement was a fun and fantastic showing off of baseball history. It so sincere fit that team: The Mets -- tiny deal with in New York, the lifetime rabble of the 1960s until the wonder, Joe Torre's bizarre teams of the 1970s, the underachieving gathering clang of the 1980s, the unacceptable clang that managed to be so ironically cool and so achingly close by to convincing the take 20 existence, the gorgeous clang of Mr. Met -- had never thrown a no-hitter. Well, routine, that story line works. As time went on, as the duct went on, as even incident teams want Toronto and Seattle and Colorado and Tampa Bay ruined their no-hitter maidens, as basic Mets want Tom Seaver (who came close by three mature with the Mets), Dwight Gooden and Nolan Ryan* all threw no-hitters, folks began attaching significance to it all."*I ever guesswork that Mets fans by way of Nolan Ryan in the "Isn't it amazing that the Mets admit never thrown a no-hitter" communication were because a small impractical. Seaver, yes, I get that. Gooden, yes, I get that too. But Nolan Ryan? He clearly started 74 games for the Mets (even so, he did bedspread a one-hitter... but the one hit was by Denny Doyle, who led off the game). Mets fans concentration implore to weep for trading Ryan for Jim Fregosi, and that's sincere tidy. But it's not terrific at all that Ryan did not bedspread a no-hitter while with the Mets."Once folks started to detain significance to the duct, they began looking for reasons. I saw Keith Olbermann say everything on Peek about Shea Stadium because a fixation, about how it has so far-off fair testify. I heard from Mets fans that the talk into of throwing a no-hitter as a New Yorker -- and like a house on fire as the understatement delayed -- was too far-off for pitchers. I heard go to regularly other theories, by way of jinxes. I'm not downplaying any of these. I'm honorable saying that such as numerical anomalies go on, we stock to infuse them with meaning. It's one of our charms as sports fans.So, such as Johan Santana got in the course of five innings with a no-hitter against St. Louis on Friday night, here was this hurry. Peek began to thump. My phone began to light up with texts. It wasn't honorable that a Mets pot was malevolent a no-hitter -- it regularly takes five innings of no-hit tablet to get folks eager -- but it was Johan. Ethnic group may quarrel with me, but I continue Johan has a Entrance of Household name act. Yes, he clearly has 136 victories, and his 3.06 ERA doesn't gust the observe, and he doesn't even admit 2,000 strikeouts. But for five and imperfect existence -- tiny imperfect of 2003 to 2008 -- he wasn't honorable the best pot in baseball, he was FAR AND Comatose the best pot in baseball, and this in the time of Roy Halladay and CC Sabathia and others. He won two Cy In advance Awards and really can admit won two haughty. I don't know how the rest of his profession phantom go, and I do understand that it phantom be harsh for him to make a Entrance of Household name act unless he bulks up people profession records. But Johan Santana was one of the best pitchers in baseball history for an delayed life span of time.And with Santana, 33 existence old and coming back from a dangerous injury, with his profession very far-off in hint, with the Mets in this weird netherworld of name chaos and money problems... this was honorable a spicy precise. Santana has a no-hitter in the course of five! Yes, Johan Santana! He can be the first! Wouldn't that be amazing?The no-hit bid completed in the sixth inning, such as Carlos Beltran bashed a cause tablet honorable fair down the third-base line. How sincere Met... not clearly was the no-hitter broken up, but it was broken up by a basic Met who -- want Santana -- had his own New York demons. Austerely this time, Mr. Met was cheerful. Referee Adrian Johnson called it receive. Replays showed that Johnson, want Jim Joyce, had blown the store. But (and it's amazing how this works) Adrian Johnson phantom not be vilified for his missed store. He did not admit a tearful justify for Carlos Beltran overdue the game. He phantom, moderately, never admit to buy out of the ordinary swig in New York Civil.See, such as it comes to umpires' missed calls, it's all a field of timing.Santana goaded Beltran to cause out, and the no-hitter continued. In the seventh inning, Mets leftfielder Mike Baxter chased down a aspiration, wind-blown fly tablet, stumped it clumsily, and defeated happening the wall. Mike Baxter injured his keep making the swallow. Mike Baxter grew up in Queens. Mike Baxter too phantom never admit to buy out of the ordinary swig in New York Civil. The no-hitter continued. In the eighth, Beltran's muddle up looked want it can fall for a hit, but it did not. Daniel Murphy stumped it. The no-hitter continued.And so, the ninth inning, Matt Holliday's slack craft looked want it had a chance. It was stumped. Allen Craig's slack craft looked want it had a chance. It too was stumped. That brought up David Freese, the resolution out, and Mets fans were Facing howling, and the names of Seaver and Gooden and Matlack and Koosman and Leiter and Focus and so masses others were because invoked, and Freese -- who has not in a luxurious expertise for put it on the attractive thing in the pinpoint -- struck out on a changeup that dropped to the dirtiness. Santana screamed. Mets attacked him. Fans hugged and bawled and tweeted about their long-lasting dreams coming true.It wasn't Santana's top perform. He walked five. He gave up that foul-ball hit to Beltran. This is a man who considering struck out 17 lacking walking character. But it WAS, of course, his top perform, in view of the fact that of what it predestined to folks. Whenever magical gear want this go on in sports, I continue about how I would filter it to someone who has no understanding of the game. How would you filter to someone the Mets' no-hitter streak? Was it unprecedented? No. Heck, the Padres still don't admit one. Was it important? No. It's not want no-hitters reckoning haughty in the standings. Was it somehow cursing the organization? No. The Mets admit won two Furrow Lock up, and they appeared in out of the ordinary not so aspiration ago. This isn't the Kansas Civil Crowned heads we're communication about here and there in.So what was it? Well, I guess I would filter it this way: In sports -- and like a house on fire in baseball -- we want to reckoning gear. We want to reckoning the hits. We want to reckoning the runs scored. We want to reckoning the runs encouraged in. Departed time, we admit ripened to reckoning other gear -- want successive games with hits or mature that a pot holds a lead in the ninth inning. It's our smooth as baseball fans. For 50 existence, the New York Mets had never done everything that thrills us as baseball fans; they had never oblique a game lacking allowing a hit. It's a inexperienced increase, and it has special meaning, by chance in view of the fact that of the rigidity in people resolution innings, such as we wonder: "Decision he or won't he?"For 50 existence, with the Mets, the retort was always: "No, he won't." On Friday night, most recently, the retort was: "Yes, he phantom."