10 Amazin’ Mets facts about Johan Santana’s no-hitter

Johan Santana frothing at the mouth in excitement after his no-hitter / USPRESSWIRE

Here are 10 facts about The Mets and Johan Santana following his no-hitter for the Mets.

1. The Mets had a whopping 26 compete-game 1-hitters prior to Santana’s no-hitter:

2. The Mets previously had 8 other combined 1-hitters:

3. There have been 6 complete-game no-hitters thrown against the Mets:

There have been no combined no-hitters against the Mets.

4. Santana had allowed just 1 hit in a start three times previously:

Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc
1 2012-06-01 NYM STL W 8-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 0 0 0 5 8 0 134 77 90
2 2007-04-08 MIN CHW W 3-1 GS-7 ,W 7.0 1 0 0 3 9 0 97 63 81
3 2004-09-03 MIN KCR W 2-0 GS-7 ,W 7.0 1 0 0 1 11 0 106 71 85
4 2004-07-17 MIN KCR W 4-1 GS-8 ,W 8.0 1 1 0 4 9 0 115 70 83
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/2/2012.

However, none of these were complete games.

5. Santana’s previous low for hits in a complete game was 3, done 3 times:

Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc
1 2012-06-01 NYM STL W 8-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 0 0 0 5 8 0 134 77 90
2 2010-07-06 NYM CIN W 3-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 3 0 0 3 5 0 113 78 83
3 2008-09-27 NYM FLA W 2-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 3 0 0 3 9 0 117 74 87
4 2008-08-17 NYM PIT W 4-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 3 0 0 0 7 0 113 85 88
5 2005-08-12 MIN OAK W 1-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 3 0 0 1 9 0 110 80 89
6 2004-07-06 MIN KCR W 4-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 3 0 0 2 13 0 114 81 92
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/2/2012.

I wonder what the record is among guys who’ve thrown a no-hitter for highest number of hits allowed in their next-lowest complete game? Santana’s got to be up there.

6. Santana’s no-hitter ranks as the 3rd-highest Game Score of his career:

Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc
1 2007-08-19 MIN TEX W 1-0 GS-8 ,W 8.0 2 0 0 0 17 0 112 83 95
2 2004-07-06 MIN KCR W 4-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 3 0 0 2 13 0 114 81 92
3 2012-06-01 NYM STL W 8-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 0 0 0 5 8 0 134 77 90
4 2006-09-05 MIN TBD W 8-0 GS-8 ,W 8.0 2 0 0 1 12 0 95 70 89
5 2005-08-12 MIN OAK W 1-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 3 0 0 1 9 0 110 80 89
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/2/2012.

His higher Game Scores came in games with a lot of strikeouts, understandably.

7. Last night’s no-hitter had the most pitches Santana’s ever thrown in a game:

Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc
1 2012-06-01 NYM STL W 8-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 0 0 0 5 8 0 134 77 90
2 2008-09-23 NYM CHC W 6-2 GS-8 ,W 8.0 7 2 2 2 10 0 125 86 68
3 2010-06-02 NYM SDP L 1-5 GS-7 7.0 5 0 0 5 3 0 123 74 65
4 2008-08-22 NYM HOU W 3-0 GS-7 ,W 7.0 8 0 0 1 5 0 121 86 65
5 2009-05-27 NYM WSN W 7-4 GS-6 ,W 6.0 3 3 3 6 11 1 120 73 59
6 2006-04-21 MIN CHW L 1-7 GS-7 ,L 7.0 5 2 2 3 6 1 120 81 62
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/2/2012.

In his recap JA wrote extensively about this, so I won’t belabor it. I will say, though, that I fear serious repercussions for Santana over this. It wouldn’t be the first time a guy with a surgically-repaired arm threw a ton of pitches in a big game and then had arm trouble in the weeks following.

8. Santana’s game ranks in a tie for the 43rd-highest Game Score for a Mets starting pitcher. Here are the leaders:

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR GSc
1 Rob Gardner 1965-10-02 (2) NYM PHI T 0-0 GS-15 15.0 5 0 0 2 7 0 112
2 Tom Seaver 1974-05-01 NYM LAD L 1-2 GS-12 12.0 3 1 1 2 16 1 106
3 David Cone 1991-10-06 NYM PHI W 7-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 3 0 0 1 19 0 99
4 Tom Seaver 1971-08-11 NYM SDP L 0-1 GS-10 10.0 3 0 0 2 14 0 98
5 Tom Seaver 1970-05-15 NYM PHI W 4-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 1 0 0 3 15 0 97
6 Jerry Koosman 1969-05-28 NYM SDP W 1-0 GS-10 10.0 4 0 0 2 15 0 97
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/2/2012.

I’d never even heard of Rob Gardner. He ranks up there thanks to pitching 15 innings while allowing only 5 hits and no runs…in a tie game!

9. Of the 125 complete-game no-hitters thrown in the last 50 years, Santana’s ranks way down the list (78th) in terms of WPA. This is because the Mets scored 2 runs in the 4th inning, giving them a distinct advantage in winning. By the time they went up 5-0, the outs Santana recorded weren’t worth much more WPA. Here are the top such no-hitters, with Francisco Liriano’s from last year ranking #1 overall:

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt IP SO WPA RE24 aLI
1 Francisco Liriano 2011-05-03 MIN CHW W 1-0 9.0 2 0.846 4.651 1.657
2 Jim Maloney 1965-08-19 (1) CIN CHC W 1-0 10.0 12 0.841 4.563 2.025
3 Roy Halladay 2010-05-29 PHI FLA W 1-0 9.0 11 0.838 4.520 1.224
4 Edwin Jackson 2010-06-25 ARI TBR W 1-0 9.0 6 0.815 4.248 1.778
5 Mike Witt 1984-09-30 CAL TEX W 1-0 9.0 10 0.812 4.581 1.181
6 Jose Jimenez 1999-06-25 STL ARI W 1-0 9.0 8 0.799 5.044 1.231
7 Ken Holtzman 1971-06-03 CHC CIN W 1-0 9.0 6 0.753 3.709 1.440
8 Dennis Eckersley 1977-05-30 CLE CAL W 1-0 9.0 12 0.737 4.379 1.147
9 Kevin Millwood 2003-04-27 PHI SFG W 1-0 9.0 10 0.733 4.329 1.153
10 Nolan Ryan 1975-06-01 CAL BAL W 1-0 9.0 9 0.701 3.966 1.384
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/2/2012.

It should come as no surprise that these were all 1-0 games.

10. Finally, of his 134 pitches, only 77 of them were strikes. That’s a surprisingly low ratio of just 57% strikes. Going back to 1988, there have been only 10 CG no-hitters with a strike rate of 58% or lower:

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR Pit Str GSc
1 Johan Santana 2012-06-01 NYM STL W 8-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 0 0 0 5 8 0 134 77 90
2 Francisco Liriano 2011-05-03 MIN CHW W 1-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 0 0 0 6 2 0 123 66 83
3 Edwin Jackson 2010-06-25 ARI TBR W 1-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 0 0 0 8 6 0 149 79 85
4 Ubaldo Jimenez 2010-04-17 COL ATL W 4-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 0 0 0 6 7 0 128 72 88
5 A.J. Burnett 2001-05-12 FLA SDP W 3-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 0 0 0 9 7 0 129 65 85
6 Dwight Gooden 1996-05-14 NYY SEA W 2-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 0 0 0 6 5 0 134 74 86
7 Al Leiter 1996-05-11 FLA COL W 11-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 0 0 0 2 6 0 103 58 91
8 Scott Erickson 1994-04-27 MIN MIL W 6-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 0 0 0 4 5 0 128 71 88
9 Jim Abbott 1993-09-04 NYY CLE W 4-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 0 0 0 5 3 0 119 66 85
10 Matt Young 1992-04-12 (1) BOS CLE L 1-2 CG 8 ,L 8.0 0 2 2 7 6 0 120 63 73
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/2/2012.

Meanwhile there have been 48 other no-hitters in that time period with a higher strike rate.


Comments

10 Amazin’ Mets facts about Johan Santana’s no-hitter — 16 Comments

  1. Great stuff, Andy. I’m a little surprised by the implications of the last item. I would have guessed that strike rates in no-hitters were not significantly higher, on average, than in other games.

    I’m not generally a big believer in the concept of “effectively wild.” But it did seem to me while watching the game that Johan’s particular flavor of wildness — seemed like he threw a good handful of fastballs that were very high or wide — helped a little in keeping the hitters from picking up the rhythm of his change-up.

  2. And nice photo selection, as usual. Maybe I’m gushing, but Johan is the only guy I remember who looks dignified even after a shaving-cream facial.

  3. Re: Rob Gardner and the 112 game score

    Gardner’s mound opponent that day was Chris Short, who also pitched 15 innings. Short allowed nine hits, but his 18 strikeouts resulted in an even higher game score than Gardner, at 114.

    • To add an appendix to Doug’s footnote to this detail from John’s post, the Gardner-Short 0-0 tie (which neither pitcher was man enough to complete) was the nightcap of a twin bill; in the opener, Jim Bunning shut out the Mets on two hits, with a game score of 92. I wonder how many teams have had opposing SPs compile a 206 game score against them in a single day. (The Mets broke out the day after in a dramatic season finale, roughing up Ray Culp for an unearned run to limit his game score to 82.)

  4. It really is amazin’ that a team that has played virtually all it’s home games in what were considered pitchers parks plus had Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman and Nolan Ryan on the roster all at the same time plus the likes of David Cone, Dwight Gooden, Bret Saberhagen, Pedro Martinez, Frank Viola, Bob Ojeda, Jan Matlack, Sid Fernandez and various other quality pitchers all play for them at one time or another and to have not had this happen before. There has even been a no hitter thrown at Coors Field, for Pete’s sake.

    • I think that goes to show how random no-hitters really are. The Mets had 26, CG, one-hitters in their history*, so just a little bit of luck and they could have had a few. That’s why I jokingly said last night that the Mets will probably now toss two more no-hitters this year, or even this week!

      * Any way to determine if that’s a high number, low number or normal number for a franchise that’s been around for 50 years?

  5. 1962. Al Jackson.

    Jackson threw 4 shutouts that year.
    His record for the season: 8-20

    (2nd in losses, 3rd in shutouts.)
    __________

    He also went 8-20 in 1965, with 3 shutouts.

    • Poor Al. He finally gets out of New York to play for a team with a winning record that would go on to win the World Series the following year, puts up an ERA+ of 144 in 232 innings and he still can’t buy a winning record.

  6. Wow, a very nice blog, Andy.

    For an “expansion” franchise, were the Mets blessed with better than average pitching from the start?

  7. Not the first year, in 1962. Roger Craig was there, but didnt know the split-finger yet, and he and rest of staff yielded 948 runs! (but “only” 801 earned)

  8. I had never heard of Rob Gardner either, but looking at his minor league record and the start to his MLB career, it’s an example of how young pitchers were treated differently back then. As an 18-year-old, he pithed more than 240 innings in his first season of minor league ball, a number he’d never reach again during his career on any level. Then he gets called up to the majors late in the season, and as a 20-year-old is asked to pitch a 15-inning game, despite starting only eleven games in the minors that year, having been used more out of the pen.

    I don’t know if he suffered any arm damage from his early usage patterns, but we’d never see either of those things happen today.

  9. @Andy

    “5. Santana’s previous low for hits in a complete game was 3, done 3 times:”

    only for the Mets;-)

    “I wonder what the record is among guys who’ve thrown a no-hitter for highest number of hits allowed in their next-lowest complete game? Santana’s got to be up there.”

    There where 6 players with their only career complete game being a no-hitter

    Bobo Hollowman, Bud Smith, Devern Hansack, Francisco Liriano, Jonathan Sánchez
    and of course Philip Humber with his perfect game as his only complete game.

    And then there are 4 players with no-hitters, who have next-best-games with 4 hits

    Bill McCahan, Clyde Shoun, George Culver
    and Dallas Braden, who therefore should be the leader in the category “worst next-best-game for a perfect pitcher”

    but the winner in the category “worst next-best-game for a no-hitter pitcher” is:

    Mike Warren, who has 3 complete games in his career with 0, 5 and 7 hits.

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