Nelson Figueroa, who retired the first 14 batters he faced in his first Mets start against the Milwaukee Brewers on April 11, walked the first batter Thursday night and then retired 10 straight Washington Nationals before giving up his first hit – an infield comebacker by Ryan Zimmerman.
The ball hit Figueroa’s mitt and trickled too slowly to Jose Reyes for him to make a play, thus bumping our NoNoHitters.com count up to 7,334 games without a New York Mets no hitter.
Unfortunately, the infield hit was followed by a towering Nick Johnson blast over the right field wall to give the Nats a 2-1 lead.
Figueroa, 33, was making his second start for the Mets. He was originally drafted by New York in the third round of the 1995 MLB draft (833rd overall). The Mets traded Figueroa and Bernard Gilkey to the Arizona Diamondbacks, and he pitched his first game with that club in 2000.
Figueroa looked strong in his second start (7 innings, 2 earned runs, 3 hits, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts), and with the way he’s retiring strings of early batters, I’m thinking he – eventually – just could be the one.