New York Mets: Five of the best moments at Citi Field so far
By Michael Carballeira
When Johan became No-han
June 1st, 2012 a day no Mets fan will ever forget. Johan Santana was on the mound on a Friday night against the St. Louis Cardinals where former Met Carlos Beltran was back in town. Santana was coming off an injury where he was kept out all of the 2011 MLB season and was making his eleventh start since return.
Johan was dealing from the moment the game started and as the game went on you just got that feeling of something amazing was going to happen whether you were there, watching on TV, or listening on the radio.
Every no-hitter or perfect game always has one key play late in the game; it’s not a rule it’s just simply how it is. The unsung hero in this game was not David Wright, Daniel Murphy, or Ike Davis the player that helped preserve the potential no-hitter was none other than Mike Baxter.
With one out in the seventh inning up came Yadier Molina, which we all know has been there to ruin good things for the Mets in the past. Molina lined a deep shot to left field and Mike Baxter tracks it down to make a spectacular grab to save the no-hitter.
Unfortunately, Baxter’s momentum took him crashing into the wall in left field where he would leave the game with a bruised left shoulder. That crash subsequently put Baxter on the disabled list but even in his mind, it had to be worth it.
On to the final inning, the Mets had an 8-0 lead on the Cardinals. The game was all but over but one factor was left. Can Johan Santana make history?
Just one out away and up came David Freese who has been clutch for the Cardinals in the past and Johan Santana got behind in the count three balls, no strikes. He then locked in with two straight strikes to take the count to a full count. I think we can remember the famous Gary Cohen call on the following pitch:
“He struck him out! It has happened! In their 51st season, Johan Santana has thrown the first no-hitter in New York Mets history.”
The players stormed the field to mob Santana on the pitchers’ mound and Citi Field was rocking. It took 134 pitches but Johan Santana did what no Met was ever able to accomplish throughout the whole franchise.