It’s a hard thing to never have something the other teams had. Whether it’s a championship, or a no-no, it’s great to put a one up where there was once a zero. Congratulations to Johan Santana, who threw a career-high 134 pitches to no-hit the Cardinals Friday night. It was the first no-hitter for the franchise since the Mets were born in 1962. 8,020 games. Aces came and went. No no-no’s.
We keep WPA graphs that show the swings in win percentage, and this game looked boring by WPA. It wasn’t. Santana was gassed, he struggled with his control, and hit a career-high pitch count. He was tired. But the tension mounted, even as the game became more decided by the inning, as you can see by the flatline.
Friend Craig Glaser wrote a guest post at Baseball Prospectus that was the best thing I read about it going in. He broke the curse with math — he inspected the situation with exactness, and once the absurdity and yet normalcy of the Mets’ streak was revealed, a no-hitter was inevitable. Well, he also calculates an expected number of no-hitters in the Mets history, which is fun. Now they have one! Thanks to math.
Hey, if people can have their superstitions about saying ‘no-hitter’ in the middle of a no-hitter, then I can have my superstitions about math beating the curse.