It’s great to be a Mets fan right now, especially if you watched Johan Santana last Friday night, as he took the pitcher’s mound at Citi Field in New York. Santana, the ace of the New York Mets, underwent surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder in September of 2010.
It’s the kind of injury known to ruin pitchers’ careers. And after Santana missed all of the 2011 season, the Mets could not be sure he would pitch for them again.
But by Friday, all their doubts had been erased. With a 2.75 earned-run average and no medical setbacks, Santana had looked like his old self through the season’s first two months. He’d settled into his old, ordinary routine. And that’s how this outing felt at the beginning: ordinary.
No one, not least of all him, could imagine anything historic was about to occur.
“To tell you that I came over here thinking about a no-hitter?” he would say later. “No chance.”
The first inning went easily enough, with a strikeout of Carlos Beltran sandwiched between two fly outs.
Santana walked two batters with one out in the second inning.
After a 12-pitch fourth inning, in which Santana allowed only a walk, he was on pace to last longer.
After walking Matt Adams, Santana struck out Tyler Greene and Adam Wainwright before getting Rafael Furcal to line out to left field.