In the postgame press conference tonight, manager Terry Collins repeatedly grew too choked up to finish his thoughts when the subject turned to Santana’s workload. Few things have defined the New York Mets these past few disappointing years like the awful spectacle of Johan Santana’s injury and agonizingly long recovery. Expectations were lowered; it was too much to expect to see anything, ever again, like the Johan Santana who starred for the Minnesota Twins.
Yet by the ninth inning, the fans, cheering raucously at every pitch, recognized that that’s what they were seeing. Few had been around for the last of Seaver’s no-hit bids that lasted into the ninth. Now, in a season in which their depleted team was fighting gamely just to stay relevant, they were watching a little bit of a miracle.
...Then David Freese came up.
Freese was considered an afterthought in baseball until his walkoff home run in Game 6 of last year’s World Series. That’s how he’ll be remembered in St. Louis, and most everywhere else.
But now Mets fans will remember Freese, forever, for something else entirely: David Freese is the guy who struck out on a Johan Santana changeup to end the first no-hitter in New York Mets history.