With Matt Garza's no-hitter on Monday night, the Rays have now done in twelve years what the San Diego Padres have been unable to do in 41 years and the New York Mets unable to do in 48. Nine other teams have entered the league since 1969 and all of them have now celebrated one of their own tossing a hit-less gem. (Yes, even the Nationals have one...back when they were the Expos).
The Mets' distinction seems even more dubious when you look at the list of ace pitchers who left the organization only to throw a no-hitter elsewhere. Tom Seaver, Mike Scott, David Cone, Al Leiter, Hideo Nomo and of course Nolan Ryan.
Alejandro Pena began 1991 with the Mets and was part of a three-pitcher no-hitter later that season. Of course that was after he had been traded to the Braves.
Hell, there's even a blog dedicated solely to tracking every day that passes without a Mets' no-hitter.
What does it all mean? If anything at all? Does it speak to an ineptitude inside both organizations? Is it some kind of curse? Or is it just dumb luck and coincidence that these two teams can't find a guy to put together nine-straight innings of hitless pitching for one night only?
Being that this is officially the year of the no-hitter, it's likely to happen this season, if ever, for both squads. Especially for the Padres, who have one of the best pitching staffs in the league. As for the Mets, they came somewhat close a couple weeks back when Jonathon Niese became the latest Met pitcher to throw a not-quite-there one-hitter...against the Padres.
Then again, maybe that's the perfect reason why it won't happen. Cause it's just not supposed to. Like the Cubs winning the World Series. The Red Sox broke their curse and look what happened...now they're insufferable. It was more interesting for the rest of us when that black cloud was still hanging over their heads.
It's not the worst thing in the world if either team continues its streak. Padres' fans would much rather break that World Series title drought before they worry about the no-hitter one. And Mets fans have so many curses, bad breaks and Yankee-related issues to deal with, this is just par for the course.
For now, the no-hitter curse will continue to hang over both organizations' heads, representing...something.