Johan's historic no-hitter was full of drama

April 8th, 2020

NEW YORK -- In one of the franchise's most charming (or exasperating) quirks, the Mets entered the night of June 1, 2012, having played 8,019 games without a no-hitter -- a record made more befuddling by the fact that the Mets employed some of the greatest pitchers of all-time in their primes, from Tom Seaver to Jerry Koosman to Dwight Gooden and more.

Unlike those pitchers, was a transplant, coming to the Mets after winning two American League Cy Young Awards in eight seasons with the Twins. He was also appearing in just his 11th game since recovering from a shoulder surgery that cost him the entire 2011 season. The Mets were treading carefully with Santana, limiting him to an average of 92 pitches per start in his first 10 games back. Even if they weren’t, the odds of doing something historic seemed slim.

“I don’t think I’ve ever even thrown a no-hitter in video games,” Santana said that night.

But then he began flirting with history at Citi Field and, as Santana’s pitch count climbed and manager Terry Collins fretted in the dugout, all sorts of dramatics took place. Carlos Beltrán’s hit down the left-field line that was ruled foul. Mike Baxter’s crash up against the outfield fence.

And all those memorable moments added up to the first no-hitter in franchise history.