This awesome compilation of newspaper back pages is from Metsblog.com
“I wonder what kind of reaction Carlos Beltran is going to get from the fans when he comes up for his first at-bat?” That was the question of the day on Twitter/WFAN up until 7:15 pm on June 1st 2012.
Could you have ever imagined that no one would even care after the final out was recorded?
How about the fan’s reaction after the first no-hitter in New York Mets history? That’s the reaction that we well all remember.
I’m going to remember that after the 5th inning, my Mom and wife asked me to run to the store for them. It was only for milk and some granola bars for my daughter, but what if that caused Johan’s no-no to be broken up? As I am deciding wether or not to go, Carlos Beltran’s mole smoked a ball over the third base bag in the 6th inning that appeared to look like it was fair. Oh well, sucks for him. Luckily the game wasn’t being played at Roland Garros or the ump would have used the ball mark on the chalk to call it a double.
I sucked it up and went for the milk and granola bars. As I got out of the car, I quickly brought up the MLB At-Bat app on my iPhone and turned the game up full blast. I didn’t care if it was too loud for other people in the grocery store. JOHAN HAD A NO-NO THROUGH 6! During the whole 8 minutes in the car to the store, I was mapping out the quickest route to get from the granola bars to the milk, then to the self checkout. Because everyone knows it’s just faster when you do it yourself.
As I walked out of Stop and Shop, it started to pour. Is this how we’re going to get it? It won’t even be a real one? WHY?!?!?
Back in the car on the way home, my phone starts going off. It’s a text my Dad. He’s texting me from his hospital bed where he’s been since just before opening day. Not being too tech savvy, here’s our conversation. You can get the gist of what he’s saying. Keep in mind, I’m thinking of the big picture here for the Mets, and my dad is a 74 year-old die-hard Brooklyn Dodgers fan, who converted into a Mets fan in 1962. Needless to say, he’s old-school. Like ”who gives a **** about a pitch-count?” old school. And Mike from Whitestone (This is Mike Baxter. He grew up in Whitestone, Queens. Just a stone’s throw from Shea Stadium. He had been known to call up WFAN when he was a kid and he was known as “Mike from Whitestone”) just crashed into the left field wall preserving the no-no, but destroying his shoulder in the process. By the way, the ball was hit by 2006 NLCS hero Yadier Molina.
When the 9th inning came around, my mom, wife and daughter were all sitting with me, and my dad was on the phone trying to get the MLB.com page to work after it crapped out on him. Thank god he finally got the page back up and he even had the “live look in”. We hung up the phone quickly and I think we both knew that if we were talking on the phone, we’d jinx the no-no.
The 1st batter in the 9th for the Cardinals was Matt Holiday. Boy did he ever do Santana a favor. He swung at the 1st pitch and hit a soft fly ball into center field. One out. The next batter was Allen Craig. On a 2-2 pitch, he hit a flare into left field that was chased down by Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Two outs. Now I’m getting REAL giddy. Is this where our hearts are ripped out of our chests again? Are the Cardinals going to be the ones to do it again? Please god. Don’t let it happen.
2011 post-season hero David Freese is in the batters box and the count is 3-0 within 5 seconds. Johan’s 4th pitch of the at-bat was an 86 mph fastball, right down the middle for a strike. Clearly he’s running on fumes. He had just thrown his 132nd pitch of the night. He’s never thrown more than 125 in a game before. When he did throw those 125 pitches, it wasn’t 11 starts after coming off major reconstructive shoulder surgery. The next pitch gets grounded foul up the third base line. I can’t sit still. I’m still not going on Twitter/Facebook/Internet at this point. In NO WAY am I jinxing this. When pitch number 134 left Johan’s hand, there was no doubt in my mind that it would be his signature change-up. And what a beautiful one it was. Halfway to home plate, the ball dove straight down and under the outstretched bat of Freese.
Click here to view the embedded video.
After 8,019 games, the New York Mets had their first no-hitter, and I was this close to shedding a tear. It’s amazing how a regular season game could mean so much to a fan base. But this isn’t just any fan base. These are the tortured New York Mets fans. Yeah I know, the San Diego Padres are now the only franchise to never have a no-hitter (and also a cycle), but they barely have a history. These are the “Amazin’ Mets”. And for one “meaningless” game in June, we were the happiest group of fans in the world.
For some weird reason, my Dad and I still haven’t talked about it. Maybe in our minds we don’t want to talk about it and then we find out it really didn’t happen.
On a side note: Thank you Terry Collins. For some reason I can’t embed this post-game clip of Terry Collins’ presser, but just look at the emotion in his eyes and in his voice.