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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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A No-Hitter, Albeit With Hits

Prior to nine years ago today, I regularly wove fantasies about a New York Met throwing a no-hitter. Then Johan Santana threw The First No-Hitter in New York Mets History, and I didn’t have to fantasize anymore. The Second No-Hitter in New York Mets History — perhaps one a little more spotless than The First — is still out there as a franchise goal, but if it comes, it comes, and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. I’ve gotten the one I closed my eyes and wished harder than hard for. On this count, I’m good.

Jacob deGrom, on the other hand, is extraordinary. Monday night he was pitching The Second No-Hitter in New York Mets History. The First Perfect Game, too. It was so obvious, it was routine. My muscle memory nudged me to get nervous, to overthink whether I should think this way or that way about what was unfolding in Phoenix. Do I sit over here? Over there? Did I just jinx everything? My contemporary mindset, however, transcended the traditional anxiety attached to following Met no-hit bids in progress.

It’s Jake. He’s got this.

Then he didn’t, after Carson Kelly registered a clean base hit in the fifth inning, yet it was no biggie as far as I was concerned. Maybe had it been deeper into the game, I wouldn’t have had to have just now gone back to the box score to look up which Diamondback it was who sullied Jake’s line. Maybe Kelly would’ve been synonymous already for Qualls or Wallis or Lyttle in my personal vernacular had it been the seventh or later. Maybe had it grown so close to taste, I’d be spitting regret right now.

But nah. Jake gave up a hit in the midst of a no-hit bid. Being Jake, he simply went back to pitching the same game, which felt as good as a no-hitter, minus the angst. Because the Mets are proceeding with commendable caution following his recent visit to the IL, they let him go only six innings anyway. There’d be one more Arizona hit, which could have been ruled an error — Billy McKinney made a nice diving play on a sinking Josh Reddick liner only to wind up dropping the ball — and everything else was deGrom to the nth degree: no walks, eight strikeouts, a run-scoring single of his own, an aura of hitless impenetrability that the two Arizona hits didn’t pierce whatsoever.

Jacob even got a W for his troubles, the beneficiary of other Mets besides himself lighting up the scoreboard, particularly the activated Pete Alonso, thriving in the desert as only this Polar Bear might. Pete homered and drove in four runs. McKinney compensated for his fielding faux pas with a grandstand shot of his own. Newest newcomer Mason Williams had himself a hit and a catch (the latter at the wall) for the first page of his Met scrapbook. Kevin Pillar donned a clear plastic mask to play the field after his brush with hit-by-pitch horror two weeks earlier and discarded it in order to swing and connect for a single in the seventh. The first-place Mets, comprised of a slightly different collection of first-place Mets every time they manage to take the field, played like whichever cast of first-place Mets they continue to be and beat the D’Backs, 6-2. A game that began on May 31 ended with the calendar in New York flipped to June 1 and a happy Johanniversary to what happened on this date in 2012.

DeGrom bookending Santana would have made it a greater story. DeGrom being deGrom made it a great game, per usual. On that count, we’re all good.

9 comments to A No-Hitter, Albeit With Hits

  • Seth

    We do still need that First Perfect Game (thanks a lot, Qualls). I fear Mr. Rojas would never let a pitcher go that far into a game, though.

  • dmg

    i know it can be said of almost every one of his starts, but degrom came out with such intensity you had to think perfection or you weren’t paying attention. actually felt better after the first hit — the pressure was off — though as you say, had it gone deeper we might have seen rojas confronted with terry collins agonistes. a win’s a win, a degrom win is even better, and one with so many contributions and highlights for a first-place mets team is the best.

  • Jacobs27

    Speaking of firsts, how about deGrom finally busting out his curveball?

    The overlay that the Pitching Ninja did of that pitch with the 100 mph high heat that ended the at-bat is a thing of beauty.

  • Bob

    I tell folks that watching deGrom pitch gives me the same feeling we had at Shea watching Seaver, Koosman,Gentry Ryan in 1968,1969,1970……that the Mets actually had a good chance to win those games.
    It was quite different from watch Al Jackson, Carl Willey, Jack Fisher……earlier in the 1960s.
    I do recall one game I went to at Shea in 1967, when we had Warren Spahn for a bit before he retired from pitching.
    Spahn & Drysdale had a pitching duel and if I recall, Drysdale hit HR in 8th and Dodgers won game 2-1.
    I can only thank the Baseball Gods for letting me still be around to see deGrom pitching like this for our Mets!

    Let’s Go Mets!

  • That has to be the first regular season west coast game I’ve stayed up for since the 80s. Jake has become must see TV though, so I’ll gladly do it again on Saturday.

  • mikeL

    ^^^yes had to stay up for this one and yes degrom was a marvel to watch – (more and more) as always. most strikeouts AND least pitches. a zen koan for our time and place (team and ace).

    yea, i didn’t like that first hit but it provided stress relief as there was no reason to worry…at least until he had to turn it over to the ‘pen.

    i hadn’t been in a rush to have pete back at first, but as with my wtf reaction to mccann playing first, i was glad to be wrong again.

    as not to jinx anything, i’ll just say “wow, yes!”

  • open the gates

    Kind of a shame that Mason Williams isn’t a pitcher, or we’d be talking about his “Classical Gas.” On the other hand, deGrom’s gas is as classic as it gets.