I like pitchers. I think this is obvious by the name of my blog. When it was time to lose “Red Sox Chick” I didn’t pick it randomly. I was looking for something baseball-related that fit who I am and was (and still am, really) stunned to find out no one had used the name for a blog nor had they purchased the domain. Unlike RSC, which I started to almost hate as time went by, I actually like the name more and more the longer I’ve had it.
So nights in baseball like last night make me ridiculously happy. Clay Buchholz was throwing a heck of a game and the Red Sox offense was pounding the Toronto Blue Jays and I readily admit that I pretty much missed probably the last three innings of the game. Twitter is a wonderful tool on nights like last night. I was getting Red Sox and Celtics updates while my television was otherwise engaged. Twitter is also how I found out that I should be turning off the Red Sox and Celtics games and focusing my pitcher-loving attention on the New York Mets/St. Louis Cardinals game.
I missed the sixth inning where Carlos Beltran got a hit that was called a foul ball (replays showed the ball hitting the chalk but the umpire called it foul. St. Louis fans were none too happy and some Mets fans were lamenting the no-hitter being “tainted”) and had I seen that maybe my glee for what Johan Santana accomplished last night would be tempered. (As many who read here know, not seeing it takes the sting away from most losses…the same logic applies here. Hell, if Armando Galarraga didn’t throw a perfect game because the umpire’s decisions are part of the game, Johan Santana threw a no-hitter.)
Santana missed the entire 2011 season because he had to undergo shoulder surgery. Last night’s game was only the 11th game he’s pitched since the surgery and he made it count. In order to get the no-hitter, he had to throw 134 pitches. In the game he pitched previous to last night’s he threw 96 pitches in a complete game shut out. Guess that shoulder is doing fine. Oh yes, on top of Santana’s success post-surgery is the fact that last night was the first time in the history of the club that a Mets pitcher threw a no-hitter. Plenty of pitchers who played on the Mets left the team and went on to no-hitters (How do the names Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden, David Cone and Nolan Ryan sound?) but the Mets were the team with the longest no-hitter drought in MLB. Now the San Diego Padres stand alone as the only team in Major League Baseball to not have recorded a no-hitter.
So I’m happy for Johan Santana and I’m happy for the Mets but I’m ridiculously happy for Mets fans who often really have to search for reasons to enjoy their season. The Mets are, thus far, having a good season. Like the American League East, the National League East is the tightest in the standings. The Mets are in second place this morning, tied with the Miami Marlins, and they’re only one game out of first. Maybe the no-hitter is a sign that good things will happen for the Mets this year?
My friend Caryn over at Metsgrrl has a wonderful entry up today about her experience last night not only as a Mets fan but as a Mets fan who got to witness the no-hitter at the park! I’ve been in Fenway for many close calls (most of them against the Red Sox) and in September of 2007 was in the stands for Clay Buchholz’ no-hitter…and that season ended well for the Red Sox so I’m hoping Caryn’s team has the same luck – to an extent. I wouldn’t mind a reunion of the 1986 World Series with a different outcome this time.
Now is as good a time as any to direct folks to the rambling post I made after Clay’s no-hitter. In reading it over today I was amused that I was so excited I didn’t include one of my favorite stories of that day which I included in one of my entries to the WEEI blogger contest:
We were sitting in loge seats behind the Red Sox on-deck circle so we had a great view of the scoreboard. By the seventh inning we were barely speaking to each other, never having mentioned what was going on. In the 8th the cell phone of someone behind me rang. He answered it, barking, “Don’t say a freaking word!” and he hung up. I wanted to throw up and KellyO looked like she was going to burst into tears at any moment. When it was finally over we were screaming and crying and hugging people we didn’t know. On NESN, Don Orsillo said the game had sent Fenway “into a frenzy” and it had. It was supposed to be a throwaway game. No one had any expectations, just hope that it would be a better game than the horrible one we saw the night before (Timlin got tattooed on his 1000th appearance and the Sox lost). Clay more than came through.
For the record, the man did not say “freaking” but I was trying to be family friendly. It was an amazing night and I’ll never be able to thank Kelly enough for bringing me along. I hope that my Mets friends, especially Caryn, feel half as good as I did that night (and the rest of the weekend, really).
Congratulations, Johan and enjoy the basking, Mets fans!