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200 Miles From the Citi


July 23, 2010 2:41 AM

So Close

I'm going to put aside the Mets' recent struggles for a moment to address a different disappointment.

(I'll get to the Mets' disastrous road trip when I get back from Seattle.)

As you well know, I've never seen a Mets no-hitter.  (No one has.)

A nice consolation prize for me would be to attend any no hitter by any team.

On Thursday night in Seattle, I almost got that opportunity - though you may not have realized it from the 8-6 final score.

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Every game I attend, in the back of my mind, I think about a no-hitter.  It doesn't matter how early the first hit comes - when it does, I erase the thought from my mind.  Some people joke about it...I'm dead serious when that first hit comes and I think, "There goes the no-hitter."

The latest that thought came was 1998, or maybe 1999.  The Mets played the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Shea Stadium, and Rick Reed gave up the first hit to Wade Boggs with, I think, 2 outs in the 7th inning.  It was a ground rule double...and I have no idea how the game ended.

I think Thursday night's ending will stick in my mind a little longer.

In the second inning, John Lackey walked Milton Bradley.  Bradley stole second, then advanced to third base on a ground ball to second base.  A Kevin Cash passed ball allowed him to score and give the Mariners a 1-0 lead...but I said to my wife, "Lackey didn't give up a hit."

And so it continued - through 5, through 6, through 7 innings.

Until it ended - with 2 outs in the eighth inning.

It had been a while since I got so nervous at a Major League game.  I really thought I was going to see a no-hitter.

Instead, I saw the Mariners come back from a 5-run ninth inning deficit for the first time in their history.  A game that was on pace to end in a little over two hours instead turned into a 4-hour affair.

A game that could have gone down in personal history as one of the best I've ever attended....instead turned into a game I left before it was over.

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