200 Miles From the Citi

June 11, 2010 6:31 AM

A Mets No-Hitter*


As you probably know, the Mets are one of just three Major League teams to have never thrown a no-hitter.

Two of those teams met at Citi Field on Thursday night.

And the Mets got a performance that was as close to a no-hitter as any other game (or, considering the number of one-hitters they've had, games) in their history. 

Jon Niese followed up a great start last Saturday with an even better start Thursday night.

He gave up just one hit - a third inning leadoff double - but was otherwise perfect.  He retired the last 21 batters he faced, striking out six in all.

That's two stellar starts for Niese since returning from the DL - 1 run in 16 innings, 1 walk compared with 12 strikeouts.

Don't look now, but with Johan Santana, a lights-out Mike Pelfrey, and Jon Niese pitching like this, the Mets have themselves a pitching rotation that will keep them in contention.

The Mets are only on a one-game home winning streak, instead of an 11-game winning streak, because Santana lost game one of the day-night doubleheader earlier on Thursday.  He was far from perfect - walking four and giving up four runs in six-and-two-thirds, as the Mets lost, 4-2.

Actually, the Padres had the pitching performance of that game, as Mat Latos and three San Diego relievers gave up just 2 hits to the Mets - one of which was a 2-run homer by Henry Blanco.  They retired the final 22 Mets in order.

But winning two out of three from the Padres a week after a disappointing swing through San Diego is a big positive for the Mets heading into interleague play.

There's a good vibe running through the team right now - especially at home (maybe because that's the only place they're winning?).  During post-game interviews, Angel Pagan has taken it upon himself to copy other teams (most notably, I think, the Yankees) with the ol' pie in the face routine - except he uses whipped cream and not shaving cream.

I don't care that it's not an original idea, though.  It's fun.  The Mets look like they're having fun.  And that's what winning teams look like.

Now they need to start looking like they're having fun on the road.  Baltimore's a nice place to start.

*It's a "Mets" No-Hitter because it's as good as a no-hitter for us Mets fans who have never experienced the real thing.

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