Leadoff homer off Santana makes it 7,345; Wright’s walkoff ends it

Pirates leadoff hitter Nate McLouth launched a Johan Santana fastball over the right-field wall Tuesday night to give Pittsburgh an early lead and bump the NoNoHitters.com count to 7,345 New York Mets games without a no hitter.

It marks the 45th time in 46 years that a potential no hitter – which before the first batter is every game – was broken up by a leadoff home run. It’s the 883rd time a Mets pitcher has yielded an opening hit, so we’ve again updated our No hitters killed by first at bat page.

Of the 7,345 Mets’ games without a no hitter:

  • 883 games began with a leadoff hit by the Mets’ opponent
  • 45 potential no hitters were broken up by a home run
  • 413 were played at Shea (or the Polo Grounds)

Santana gave up just one more hit in his 5 2/3 innings of work, a Jason Bay solo home run in the fourth. Twins fans that I talk to say to expect this – solo home runs sprinkled throughout an otherwise strong performance.

A Ryan Church homer in the bottom of the fourth tied it, and a Jose Reyes RBI triple followed by a fielder’s choice in the fifth put the Mets up 4-2. The Pirates clawed back to send it to extra innings with runs in the eighth and ninth.

The Mets won 5-4 in the 11th when Endy Chavez led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a John Van Benschoten balk. Marlon Anderson laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Chavez to third, and after an intentional walk to Jose Reyes and an unintentional walk to Luis Castillo, David Wright hit a deep fly to right for a walk-off single.

I’m not sure, but my guess is that we could have just witnessed the first ever Mets game that began with a lead-off homer and ended with a Mets walk-off.

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