There was a bit of controversy over whether or not the Mets' first no-no was legit after this blown call in the 6th inning.
That's OK, though. Those things tend to even out. Just ask Tigers' pitcher Armando Galarraga, who had his perfect game taken away two years ago on a blown call at first base by umpire Jim Joyce.
Controversies aside, what's always sort of irritated me about certain no-hitters is the number of batters that actually make it on base during the course of the game despite not getting any hits.
Anytime I see that a pitcher tossed a no-no, the first thing I do is check the boxscore to see the number of walks/hit batsmen that he gave up.
In Santana's case, he gave up five walks on Friday. Now, I get it. It's still a no-hitter, and that's the whole point of the wild celebrations and the news coverage, but to me, if a pitcher gives up more than three walks during the course of a no-hitter, it's not very impressive.
What it tells me is that he wasn't very sharp, and if he would have challenged some of the guys that he walked, maybe one of them would have gotten a hit.
I used to argue about this with people all the time. Back in 1990, Mariners Pitcher Randy Johnson pitched a no-hitter against the Detroit Tigers at the Kingdome in Seattle, but he issued six walks in the process. How is that impressive?
I immediately got into it with my uncle about it, and he simply said, "Hey, it's a no-hitter. Case closed."
Fine, it's officially a no-no, even if a guy walks one batter per inning, I guess it's still acceptable to celebrate and break out the bubbly.
You know what's more impressive than a five or six walk no-hitter? What former Pirates pitcher Jim Bibby did back on May 19th, 1981, at Three Rivers Stadium, when he gave up a lead-off single to Terry Harper in the top of the first inning and then proceeded to retire 27-straight Atlanta Braves.
Fine, break out the bubbly, Johan.