Tag Archives: mets

44 years since the Kirby-Gomez incident

Just a day after Odrisamer Despaigne nearly allowed the San Diego Padres to finally shed the label of being the only major league team never to throw a no-hitter, nonohitters.com celebrates the anniversary of another significant event in that story.

San Diego could have exited the no-no club 44 years ago today, early in the franchise’s history. On July 21, 1970, the New York Mets were beating the Padres 1-0, but Padres starter Clay Kirby still had a no-hitter going through eight innings. With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, San Diego skipper Preston Gomez decided to pull Kirby for a pinch hitter, Cito Gaston.

“He was coming out, because I play to win,” Gomez told The AP after the game. “I knew he had a no-hitter going but we got to score some runs.”

Gaston struck out, reliever Jack Baldschun gave up a ninth-inning lead-off single to Bud Harrelson and the Mets rallied to pad their lead to 3-0, which would be the final score.

What if Gomez had allowed Kirby to bat? Would Kirby have reached base and started a rally that would have given them a 2-1 lead and an eventual no-no win? Would Kirby have struck out, yet kept the no-hitter alive through the top of the ninth to set up a ninth-inning Padres walk-off victory?

We’ll never know, and the club still doesn’t have no no-no.

Kirby acknowledged after the game that he was a little mad and a little surprised but said Gomez is the manager and it’s his call.

Gomez made the same move on Sept. 5, 1974, while managing the Houston Astros. Don Wilson was three outs from a no-hitter but the Astros trailed the Cincinnati Reds 3-0 and Gomez sent in pinch-hitter Tommy Helms in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Helms grounded out, Tony Perez killed the no-no with a ninth-inning single off Mike Cosgrove and the Reds wound up winning 2-1.

Padres’ Despaigne loses no-no in 8th

Odrisamer Despaigne took a San Diego Padres no-hitter through 7⅔ innings Sunday but lost it on a double by the New York Mets’ Daniel Murphy. The two-out hit marked the 7,264th game without a no-no for the San Diego Padres, the only team without one.

The 27-year-old Cuban-born right-hander then gave up a David Wright RBI single to lose the lead for a 1-1 tie before he was pulled by manager Bud Black after 123 pitches. The Padres won on a walk-off infield single in the bottom of the 9th.

The last team to exit the no no-no club was the Mets, of course, who in 2012 ended the league’s longest streak from birth at 8,019 games when Johan Santana no-hit the Cardinals.

42 years ago today, Leron Lee breaks up Seaver’s no-hitter in ninth

The Padres have been one-hit by the New York Mets three times, but none was as crushing to the Mets as Leron Lee’s 9th-inning no-no-killing single against eventual Hall of Famer Tom Seaver at Shea Stadium on July 4, 1972.

Seaver took a no-hitter into the ninth inning this day, although he walked two batters in the fourth and two batters in the eighth so the perfect game was off the board.

Seaver took the mound in the ninth and got Dave Roberts to ground out before Leron Lee lined a ball up the middle to end the no-no bid. He then got Nate Colbert to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game for a 2-0 complete-game shutout, Seaver’s fourth career one-hitter.

Seaver struck out 11 batters, and the Mets scored their only runs with two outs in the third when Jim Fregosi and Ed Kranepool drew bases-loaded walks from the Padres’ Clay Kirby.

It was the Mets’ ninth one-hitter and it marked the team’s 1,692nd game without a no-hitter. On the other side, Kirby lost his no-hitter on Wayne Garrett’s first-inning single to move the Padres’ count to 556 games.

Padres left alone, two years ago today

johanTwo years ago today, on June 1, 2012, Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in New York Mets history, anointing the San Diego Padres with new-found infamy as the team with the longest current drought. Santana’s gem ended the Mets’ streak at 8,019 games with no no-nos, dating back to the franchises first game in 1962.

The Padres have been at it since 1969.

The Mets streak lasted 50+ seasons, which is the longest a franchise has ever gone from its birth, but it’s not the longest no no-no streak. That record belongs to the Philadelphia Phillies, who were void of a no-hitter for 58 years, 1 month, 18 days between 1906 and 1964. The 8,945-game-long streak began on May 3, 1906, one game after Phillies’ southpaw Johnny Lush threw a 6-0 no-hitter against the Brooklyn Superbas. It ended on June 21, 1964, when Jim Bunning threw a 6-0 perfect game against the Mets during a Father’s Day doubleheader at Shea Stadium in New York.

Happy 70th Cito Gaston

A happy 70th birthday to former Padres outfielder Cito Gaston, who in 1970 was put in to pinch hit for Clay Kirby by manager Preston Gomez despite Kirby having a no-hitter through eight innings.

San Diego was down 1-0 to the New York Mets at the time. Gaston struck out, reliever Jack Baldschun gave up a ninth-inning lead-off single to Bud Harrelson and the Mets rallied to pad their lead to 3-0, which would be the final score.

Gomez’s decision still haunts the Padres more than 43 years later as the team is still void of a no-no.

Happy birthday to the man who ended the Mets no-no streak

Happy 35th birthday to Johan Santana, the man who ended the New York Mets’ no no-hitters streak and passed the torch to the San Diego Padres. Here’s our original post from June 1, 2012:

The streak ends at 8,019: Santana no-hits Cards

For the first time in 8,019 games, a New York Mets game has ended with a zero in the opposing team’s “H” column.

Johan Santana threw a no-hitter Friday to accomplish what Nolan Ryan, Tom seaver, Dwight Gooden and David Cone could do only for other teams – not the Mets.

Santana scattered five walks and struck out eight during the 8-0 victory.

Sanatana’s no-no leaves the San Diego Padres as the only franchise without a no-hitter, and anoints the Padres with newfound infamy as the team with the longest drought. We haven’t yet worked out their current count.

The Mets drought stretched into the team’s 50th season, starting when the St. Louis Cardinals’ Julian Javier singled to left off Mets starter Roger Craig on April 11, 1962, during the Mets franchise’s first Major League game.

In addition to Ryan, Seaver, Gooden, Cone, Mike Scott and Hideo Nomo also pitched no-hitters after leaving the Mets. Nomo is the only pitcher to hurl no-nos both before (Los Angeles Dodgers, 1996) and after (Boston Red Sox, 2001) his stints with the Mets.

The rest of the cast pitching no-hitters before joining the Mets includes Don Cardwell (Chicago Cubs), Warren Spahn (Milwaukee Braves), Dean Chance (Minnesota Twins), Dock Ellis (Pittsburgh Pirates), John Candelaria (Pittsburgh Pirates), Bret Saberhagen (Kansas City Royals), Scott Erickson (Twins), Al Leiter (Florida Marlins) and Kenny Rogers (Texas Rangers).

Thank you, Johan for finally breaking the curse.