For the first time in years, my buddy Phil and I attended a Mets game at Shea Stadium together, and strangely enough, it was against the Cardinals. Not only did PooZ and I see the Cardinals against the Red Sox just a month ago, but 4 out of the last 5 Mets games Phil and I have gone to together have been against the Cardinals (including a doubleheader in 1998).
Phil, of course, was hoping for the first no-hitter in Mets history, so much so that he was counting down after every out Johan Santana recorded. I was just happy to be back at Shea, where I saw my very first Major League game back in 1987 (yes, that’s a link to the boxscore of that game... I’m an enormous dork...).
For those that don’t know, this is Shea’s last season. Sure, it’s a dump, but it’s our dump, so I had to see one last game there (and now that I’ve been back again, I kind of want to go back this summer).
The game itself was awesome. Santana didn’t give up a hit until the 5th inning, the Mets hit 3 home runs (and Santana himself almost had a 4th), and Carlos Beltran made the most incredible catch I’ve ever seen in person.
At the time, Johan was pitching a shutout, and that catch preserved it. That ball was hit a good 415 feet (Beltran catches it beyond the wall at the 410’ mark, so it had to be hit further than that) and was nothing but the most spectacular out I’ve seen in person -- and very close to Endy Chavez’s catch in the 2006 NLCS.
Sure, Albert Pujols had to go and ruin the shutout two pitches later, but it was still incredible.
Actually, let’s hit on that just a bit more. At the Red Sox game I went to earlier this year, I got a Kevin Youkilis jersey and he hit two homers, including a walk-off. At the Mets game, I got a Johan Santana jersey, and he pitched a complete game and drove in as many runs (1) as he allowed.
Basically, me buying a jersey of a specific player at a game is better luck than a bobblehead day (I also bought a Kobe Bryant jersey before Game 5 of the NBA Finals and a Kevin Garnett jersey before Game 6 of the NBA Finals, so my at-game jersey purchases are 4-0 since the start of June).