I got up from my Pre-work nap to discover that Chicago White Sox starter Phil Humber was into the 9th inning against the Seattle Mariners: throwing a Perfect game. Mind you, there have only been 20 perfectos in Baseball. Humber was on the cusp of joining an illustrious club. After Humber retired the 27th batter he faced and i stood there watching the White Sox players celebrating on the diamond at Safeco Field something else came to mind.
Aside from becoming the 21st member of the Perfect Game Club, Humber also joined another club. This club is made up of pitchers who threw either a no hitter or a perfect game after leaving the New York Mets. The irony is that the New York Mets (Along with the San Diego Padres) are the only MLB franchises to never have a no hitter or a perfect game thrown by one of their pitchers.
With Humber's performance today, the total of ex-Met pitchers to throw either a no-no or a perfect game after leaving the Metropolitans is seven.
Here is the list:
Nolan Ryan (California Angels, Houston Astros, Texas Rangers)
Tom Seaver (Cincinnati Reds)
Mike Scott (Houston Astros)
Dwight Gooden (New York Yankees)
David Cone (New York Yankees)
Hideo Nomo (Boston Red Sox)
Philip Humber (Chicago White Sox)
What makes this list impressive is that you have arguably four of the greatest pitchers to play for the Mets in Ryan, Seaver, Gooden and Cone reaching their no hitter/perfect game achievements elsewhere. Ryan has more no-hitters than any other pitcher in the history if the game (Sandy Koufax is next with four no-hitters). Seaver took three no hitters into the ninth inning and lost two with one out and one with two outs in the ninth in Dave Stiebian fashion (Stieb of the Toronto Blue Jays took 4 no-hitters into the ninth and lost them before he recorded a no-hitter). Humber is a former 1st round pick for the Mets in 2004 and Scott was utterly dominant in his NY Cy Young and NL League Championship Series MVP (in a losing effort) season of 1986 and to further add insult to injury, Scott was potentially the only man who could derail the locomotive that was the 1986 New York Mets. So the feats of these pitchers make each and every no hitter or perfect game thrown outside of Shea Stadium and Citi Field that much more bitter.
Here is the breakdown of no hitters/perfect thrown by the former Mets pitchers:
- May 15, 1973 – California Angles 3, Kansas City Royals 0 away at Kansas City
- June 15, 1973 – California Angels 6, Detroit Tigers 0 away at Detroit
- Sept. 28, 1974 – California Angels 4, Minnesota Twins 0 in Anaheim
- June 1, 1975 – California Angels 1 Baltimore Orioles 0 in Anaheim
- Sept. 26, 1981 – Houston Astros 5 Los Angeles Dodgers 0 home in Houston
- June 11, 1990 – Texas Rangers 5 Oakland A’s 0 away at Oakland
- May 1, 1991 – Texas Rangers 3 Toronto Blue Jays 0 home in Texas
- June 16, 1978 – Cincinnati Reds 4, St. Louis Cardinals 0 home in Cincinnati
- September 25, 1986 – Houston Astros 2, San Francisco Giants 0 home in Houston
- May 14, 1996 – New York Yankees 2, Seattle Mariners 0 home in the Bronx
- July 18, 1999 – New York Yankees 6, Montreal Expos 0 in the Bronx ***Perfect Game
- April 4, 2001 – Boston Red Sox 3, Baltimore Orioles 0 away at Baltimore
- April 12, 2012 – Chicago White Sox 4, Seattle Mariners 0 away at Seattle ***Perfect Game
Combined No-Hitters with former Mets pitchers
On Sept. 11, 1991, Peña was a part of a three-pitcher no-hitter for the Braves closing out a game that was started by Kent Mercker (6 innings) and relieved by Mark Wohlers (2 innings). The Braves beat the San Diego Padres 1-0. Pena had been traded to the Braves from the Mets earlier in the season. Oswalt was removed in the first inning due to an injury.
On June 11, 2003, Dotel was a part of the largest combined no hitter when as a member of the Houston Astros. He joined Roy Oswalt, Pete Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner in no hitting the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Oswalt had been removed in the first inning due to an injury.
Who knows when the Mets will get their elusive no hitter and/or perfect game. Where a perfect game seemed weird only a few years ago, there have been five thrown since 2004, so there is hope. I guess the Mets faithful will have to continue to believe that it'll happen sooner than later.