No opening-day no hitter for Santana, but he pitches a gem

It would have been perfect: Johan Santana pitches a no hitter in his first start for the New York Mets since signing a six-year, $137.5 million contract.

But it wasn’t to be.

Santana gave up an fourth-inning two-run homer to Josh Willingham to give our count its first action of the season, ticking it up to 7,321.

But that’s OK, the Mets won 7-2, and the historic moment should really come at Shea Stadium … or, if it’s going to be a while, Citi Field.

Santana pitched a gem, striking out eight batters while scattering just three hits and two walks over seven innings of work. The homer was the only glitch. His change-up was brilliant, and it was amazing to see the way he’s able to keep all of his pitches down in the strike zone.

The bullpen did a nice job as well.

I can see Santana throwing a no hitter some time in his career, but it’s probably more important that he wins a Cy Young award if we’re going to make it to the postseason. He won the AL Cy Young in 2004 and 2006, so if it’s going to be an every-two-year occurrence – it’s time.

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