Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Will The Mets Ever Throw a No Hitter?
One-time Met Philip Humber brought a no-hitter into the 7th inning last night against the Yankees, continuing the Yanks perennial issues with pitchers they've never seen before, as well as leading to some discussion on the YES broadcast (and amongst me and M@d Scientist) about one of the saddest droughts in sports: the Mets having never thrown a no-hitter in their history. Never. Not once, not an asterisked one that was ended with a bad call, or a half-assed 5 walk, two wild pitch run scoring no-hitter, or a combined team no-hitter like the Astros put on the Yanks a few years back. Nothing. Every team that they have played in their fairly long (not so storied) history has gotten at least one hit against the Metropolitans.
Of course, no-hitters are by no means a common occurrence, according to Odds maker.com the odds of pitching a no-hitter at the major league level is 1 in 775 or roughly the same odds as Alabama State winning the NCAA title next season. This hasn't stopped every other franchise in Major League Baseball from having at least one no-hitter in the books besides the San Diego Padres and our New York Mets. That's 49 years and 15 days without one, or a little younger than Julio Franco. While it is still a rare feat, the Diamondbacks, Marlins and Rays have all managed at least one despite only being around since the 90s. What makes this all the more frustrating for the already frustrated Mets fans is the great number of pitchers who have gone on to baseball immortality with other teams, (6 to be exact) and one of the players they traded away managed to throw 7 himself, each one like another punch to the gut of hapless Mets fans. And a Nolan Ryan punch does not feel good, ask Robin Ventura.
To make matters even worse, the hated Yankees seem to throw No nos every couple of years, and a couple of times they involved(of course) guys who used to star for the Mets in David Cone and Doc Gooden. Other times, the Yankees have had fat, reportedly hung over pitchers throw no-hitters, and just to really rub it in their Queens' neighbors faces, a guy with one arm tossed a no-hitter. Ho hum.
So why can't the Mets get their moment to hoist one of their own on their shoulders? They've certainly had some great arms in their history, and 10 Mets pitched no-hitters for their previous clubs. Some might call it the curse of Nolan Ryan, but much like a lot of Mets history, part of their problems stem from the fact that they can't seem to get out of their own way. While it's always a dilemma for a manager to keep a pitcher in the game who's on the brink of history (particularly in this era of strict pitch counts) the Mets have pulled a pitcher mid no-hitter 14 times in their history. They've also come oh so close 9 times, the most recent by Will Ferrell look alike R.A. Dickey, and most famously by Pedro Martinez in the bottom of the ninth (a game they would eventually lose). So, the Mets are not only not able to close the deal but even when they flirt with going all the way they cock block themselves (sorry Snoot and M@d).
Will the New York Mets ever get their names off the extremely exclusive never thrown a no hitters list? It's bound to happen eventually, but knowing Mets history they will most likely throw a no-hitter on the first day that instant replay is implemented to review balls and strikes and have it overturned or something. One thing's for sure, whatever manager even thinks about pulling out a pitcher who's close to a no-no will be booed off the field. It'll happen, Mets fans, be patient.
Thanks to Mets fan (and possible closet Yankee fan) M@d Scientist for a lot of the no-hitter and Mets research.