Saturday, June 02, 2012

Johan Santana's 'Very Special Game' was meant to be shared with family and friends

Even the Gnome of Defeat cheered Johan!

There are moments in life that simply must be shared with friends and family.

I credit daughter Caroline’s steady driving with allowing me to experience one of the most glorious moments in Mets history.

Armed with her learner’s permit, Caroline’s been spending a lot of time behind the wheel, and getting better and better.

We were heading home from the Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts on Friday night with the student driver accumulating time, and she’s no longer at the stage where I’m pumping the invisible brake pedal on the passenger side.

In fact, I’m getting so comfortable with her driving that I was able to take out the iPhone to check in on the Mets via the MLB At Bat ap.

It was the seventh inning. And I saw a zero in an unexpected spot in the box score.
“Whoa! Johan Santana is having a Very Special Game!”

My children have been properly raised, and they know you don’t jinx a Met throwing a no-hitter by announcing it. (We do jinx the Yankees every chance we get, starting during the warm-up tosses.)

So they know very well not to announce that a Mets pitcher has not allowed a hit. But we say “Very Special Game” as our code.

Will’s first text arrived within moments of pulling into the driveway, even before we had MLB-TV on the screen. Will is a baseball historian and fan of the first order, and he knows better than to throw a jinx out there.

One of our friends famously jinxed a no-hitter at the inaugural Baseball Truth Executive Game, so the mere mention of his name in a certain context is code – as in, “Don’t tell Jim, but…”

Santana mowing down Cardinals in the eighth inning  afforded time to get set up for the ninth.
The kids, my wife and the cat were summoned and viewed from the couch. Actually, I think Tug was already there, sleeping.

I laid on the floor in front of the television, with the iPhone to continue the conversation with Will and the laptop opened up to the Crane Pool Forum, who are considered the extended Mets family even though I’ve never met most of them in person.

I was feeling somewhat confident after Santana got Matt Holliday to line out to Andres Torres, and even more so when Allen Craig flied out to Kirk Nieuwenhuis.

That left David Freese. Mets no-hitters are typically ruined by scrubs, like the infamous Mr. Qualls, or pitchers, like Mr. Hammels.

But David Freese is the reigning World Series MVP. I would have been more worried had the last guy on the bench came out to pinch hit.

With two strikes, Freese swung, I yelled, the startled cat ran away and Mets history was made – and shared with family.


Nishima Auluck said...

This no-hitter was the first in New York Mets history. It took 50 years and over 8,000 games for the Mets to finally achieve their first no-no..

Anonymous said...

And a hearty tip of the ol' Reds cap for taking out the hated Cardinals in that Very Special Game.