Entering the eighth inning of the game between the Mets and Cardinals at Citi Field, Johan Santana had thrown 107 pitches, one short of his season high, and had issued four walks. It has been two years — since June 2, 2010 — that Santana had thrown more than 120 pitches in a game.
In a normal game, he might have been lifted, with his team ahead 8-0. But there’s a no-hitter going, so Santana headed out for the eighth.
The Cardinals’ leadoff hitter in the eighth, second baseman Tyler Greene, popped Santana’s first pitch into short left field. Kirk Niewenhuis and shortstop Omar Quintanilla nearly collided, but Niewenhuis caught the ball.
Shane Robinson, batting for pitcher Sam Freeman, hit next, and was called out on strikes. The play was somewhat controversial; a 1-2 pitch appeared to hit Robinson, but plate umpire Gary Cederstrom ruled it ball two.
Rafael Furcal came up with two out and walked, Santana’s fifth base on balls. Manager Terry Collins came out, said a few words, and left Santana in.
Former Met Carlos Beltran was the next hitter and hit a little flared popup in the infield that was caught by second baseman Daniel Murphy and the no-hitter was intact through eight — one inning away from the first no-hitter in New York Mets history.