On Monday, three days after making history by throwing the Mets' first no-hitter, Johan Santana was named the National League Player of the Week.
The two-time Cy Young Award winner and three-time All-Star struck out eight and walked five, and threw a career-high 134 pitches in Friday's 8-0 win over the Cardinals. His gem brought an end to the Mets' stretch without a no-no, which at 8,019 games was the longest of any club in Major League history.
Adding to the magnitude of the accomplishment was the journey Santana had taken back to the mound, slowed by a shoulder operation in 2010 that has decreased his velocity.
Despite building up such a high pitch count, Santana retired the Cardinals in order in the ninth inning, his last pitch a 3-2 changeup to David Freese for the game-ending strikeout.
The 33-year-old became the fourth pitcher with multiple Cy Young Awards at the time of his first career no-hitter, joining Bob Gibson (1971), Tom Seaver (1978) and Bret Saberhagen (1991). His no-no was the 251st in Major League history during the regular season and 253rd overall.
This is Santana's fifth weekly award, the last coming in August 2008. It's also the second consecutive NL Player of the Week honor for the Mets, with knuckleballer R.A. Dickey winning last week after going 2-0 with a 0.63 ERA and 21 strikeouts over 14 1/3 innings.