On a night when he had everything working, Pedro Martinez threw one hanging curveball that cost him a chance at the first no-hitter in New...
NEW YORK — On a night when he had everything working, Pedro Martinez threw one hanging curveball that cost him a chance at the first no-hitter in New York Mets history.
Martinez took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning last night against the Houston Astros before Chris Burke hit his first major-league home run. The speed bump hardly disturbed Martinez, who allowed only one other hit and struck out 12 in a 3-1 victory over one of the worst-hitting teams in baseball.
“It was a curveball that backed up,” catcher Mike Piazza said. “It was the only curve that backed up. It stayed in the hitting zone and he banged it out.”
Martinez said he didn’t realize he had a no-hitter going until the crowd of 39,953 responded following the homer, which came on his 69th pitch of the night.
“I didn’t really realize it until I heard the fans clapping,” he said. “I never look at the scoreboard. I look everywhere else. It’s not the first time that’s happened to me.”
The two-hitter was his second this season and the fifth of his career. In 1995, when he was pitching for Montreal, the three-time Cy Young Award winner took a perfect game into the 10th inning before allowing a hit.
“We started hard early and threw some off-speed stuff in the middle innings,” Piazza said.
Burke, in his first full major-league season, had never homered before.
“It’s kind of a culmination of thoughts,” he said of his trip around the bases. “First, it’s just the gratification of knowing you hit the ball well. Then, you realize that you broke up a no-hitter and it’s your first homer and it’s off Pedro Martinez. When I got into the dugout, I really kind of had to sit down for a second.”