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Filling The Void: “No-han”

Go back to the day in 2012 when Johan Santana finally gave the New York Mets their first (and so far only) no-hitter in franchise history.

Johan Santana by slgckgc is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Filling The Void: “No-han”

Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes

We’re several weeks into our worldwide attempt to “flatten the curve” and have been offering daily escapes into the sporting events of yesteryear through our “Filling The Void” series. We’ve looked back on the inspiring, mind-boggling and remarkable events as well as the ordinary, daily games we’ve been missing in our lives. We here at The Turf Sports sincerely hope you and your loved ones are staying healthy and being safe through these trying days. We’d also like to take a moment to send out a huge THANK YOU to all of those front-line folks keeping society going – from the medical community to those stocking grocery store shelves, delivering supplies around the country or helping us all fight this virus together in some other essential, invaluable way. You are all heroes.

Nerves, Anticipation, and Urgency

We’ve all been there. Whether inside the stadium/arena/ballpark or watching on a TV with fellow fans in a bar or restaurant, or sitting in our own homes – the feelings are universal. Bated breath becomes the norm when the tension is at its highest. Overtime hockey (especially in the playoffs), added time and/or penalty kicks in soccer, even OT in football – not as exhilarating as it once was given the current rules, is still capable of making the butterflies flutter in a fan’s stomach, heart and throat. I clearly remember such a night in June of 2012 when all of those feelings built inside me over the course of a random 9 inning baseball game that will forever live in Mets history.

Today: The NY Mets 1st (and thus far only) no-hitter – June 1, 2012

I wish I could retrieve my text message history easily – because I can only imagine the back and forth that my friend CJ and I were having all night during this game. As I sat and watched the replay just now it felt like I was right back there, hanging on every pitch and gasping with every close call that could have changed things dramatically.

A Love/Hate Relationship with my Metsies

I’ve followed the Mets ever since my dad took me to a game against the San Diego Padres many moons ago. I couldn’t tell you much about the game apart from the fact that it went to extra innings, which meant I would be out later than expected. In the 25+ years since, I’ve developed a thick skin when it comes to the organization. My default position these days would probably best be described as “cautious optimism”, with a bit of New York cynicism thrown in as well. That cynicism is due in large part to the fact that the Mets always seem to do things in the most spectacular ways. I can’t even count the number of times the team has teased the fans, getting our hopes up only to crush our spirits. For example – remember this:

That play summarizes what it’s like to be a Mets fan. In that game, the team was down 6-0 before they even sent a batter to the plate. Over the course of the game they clawed their way back, heading to the bottom of the 9th trailing only 9-6. They scored another run and had runners on first and second with nobody out, only to have THAT happen. So yeah – cautious optimism is how we operate in Queens.

The Baseball Gods Smile On The Mets – For Once

No-hitters are fairly rare in baseball (there have been 303 since 1876, 23 of which were perfect games). Anyone who follows the game will tell you – typically there are one or two moments throughout the game where you need to “catch a break”. Ron Darling, during the broadcast, observed: And boy did the Mets catch some on this day.

  • Third base umpire Adrian Johnson (who only had 3 years of MLB experience) missed a call on a Beltran line drive in the top of the 6th, calling it a foul ball when replays clearly showed it was fair. The instant replay rules at the time didn’t allow for managers to challenge.
  • Mike Baxter made a terrific catch to rob Mets foe Yadier Molina of extra bases in the 7th (injuring his shoulder in the process).
  • The rain that was forecast never really materialized. The game in Washington D.C. was postponed, and that system was making its way to Queens – but it was only a passing shower during the game.
  • Some “stress-inducing” fielding late in the game panned out for the Mets (Kirk Nieuwenhuis grabbed a pop-up that on any other day probably would’ve dropped and had him collide with SS Omar Quintanilla) and Daniel Murphy gave everyone a heart attack when he cut across Quintanilla to snag a blooper on the infield.

Gary Cohen’s commentary in the 6th, after the blown call on Beltran’s line drive, noted: “Well, if things progress as they’re going right now, that could be an enormous call, historically.” It certainly ended up that way.

See You Tomorrow. Stay Safe. Stay Smart. Wash Your Hands.

Joe is an actor who grew up eating, living and breathing sports. He spent many an afternoon on the soccer or baseball field in his youth (and even gave several other sports a shot) before a series of events put him on the path to pursuing a performing career. Subsequently, he's worked almost every other type of job you could imagine while trying to support that endeavor. Whenever he's not working any of those jobs, he can often be found watching, playing or discussing sports in some way. Most of that banter revolves around the Mets, Giants, Rangers or Manchester United. His short term goal is to fully convert his fiance into a rabid sports fan, not someone who leaves the room whenever he turns a game on.

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