7,483: Mets win, embark on another season of no-hitter futility

So much for the opening day no-no!

Well, we had high hopes for an Opening Day no-no, but perhaps we’re just saving that moment for the first Mets game at Citi Field.

The lack of a no-no was about the only disappointing thing about the Mets’ 2009 debut Monday afternoon, as the club three-hit the Cincinnati Reds for a 2-1 victory at Great American Ball Park.

Johan Santana took a no-hitter into the fourth inning before giving up a two-out double to Jay Bruce, giving our NoNoHitters.com count its first uptick of the season to 7,483 games without a New York Mets no-no.

Santana came just one out from forcing us to update our “Lost Mets no-hitters that reached at least the fifth inning” page, but it wasn’t to be. Santana, however, was able to get out of the inning with a zero remaining in the Reds’ “R” column.

The Mets then jumped on the scoreboard the next half inning when Daniel Murphy pulled a two-seam fastball over the right-center-field wall to give the Mets a 1-0 lead. Murphy squeezed out a second RBI in the sixth by bringing Luis Castillo home on a ground-out.

Santana left the game with two outs in the sixth after giving up just one earned run on three hits and four walks.

Leaving the game in the hands of the Mets’ bullpen would have prompted fans to engage in a series of cursing outbreaks in 2008, but the 2009 newcomers made sure Santana got the “W.” Sean Green (1 1/3 in.) and J.J. Putz (1 in.) provided the setup, letting Francisco Rodriguez slam the door on the Reds in the ninth for K-Rod’s first Mets save.

This is the way it’s supposed to work.

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