- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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NO-HAN! The streak is finally over.
After 8,019 regular-season games spanning 50-plus years without a no-hitter in Mets history, Johan Santana tossed the Mets' first no-hitter Friday in an 8-0 win over the Cardinals. The Cy Young Award-winning southpaw tossed 134 pitches in the effort.
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FINALLY: Santana was simply brilliant, pitching the best game of his career in front of a crowd of 27,069 in Flushing. He received the usual great defensive play to help him through the outing, but the Cardinals did not hit many balls hard.
With two outs in the eighth, he walked Rafael Furcal, bringing his pitch count up to 118. Before the game, manager Terry Collins had said Santana would have a pitch count of 115. Facing Carlos Beltran (a former Met making his first trip back to Flushing since being traded), he retired him on a soft pop in the infield to end the eighth with 122 pitches.
Santana came out to bat in the eighth, receiving a standing ovation from the fans as well as being serenaded with chants of "Johan." He retired Matt Holliday to start the ninth on a soft fly to center, and Allen Craig flied out to left.
World Series MVP David Freese came to the plate with two outs, and the count ran to 3-2. Santana struck him out on a low pitch, and the Mets had the first no-hitter in franchise history. Santana struck out eight on the historic night.
BAXTER PAYS FOR GREAT PLAY: Left fielder Mike Baxter had the play of the night to keep the no-hitter alive in the seventh. On a rocketed ball to left by Yadier Molina, he caught the ball with an outstretched hand and then crashed into the wall. He left after the catch, appearing to favor his wrist/arm area. He left the game with a left shoulder contusion and was undergoing further testing.
DISPUTED PLAY: In the sixth, Beltran smoked a liner down the third-base line that was ruled foul by third-base umpire Adrian Johnson. The Cardinals argued it was a fair ball after Beltran eventually grounded out. On replay, it showed that the ball skipped in fair territory and should have been ruled a hit for Beltran.
THE OFFENSE: It won't be remembered, but the Mets got all eight of their runs driven in by their 3-4-5 hitters in David Wright, Lucas Duda and Daniel Murphy. Duda had four RBIs, Murphy drove in three and Wright drove in a run to power the offense.
UP NEXT: R.A. Dickey (7-1, 3.06 ERA) will take the hill against Lance Lynn (8-1, 2.54) at 4:10 p.m. ET in a battle of two of the top pitchers in the game this season.
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