Cardinals-Mets Preview

Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in New York Mets

franchise history in the team’s series opener with the St. Louis


With the way R.A. Dickey has been pitching lately, the Cardinals

could have another tough time at the plate Saturday at Citi


Facing a St. Louis team that leads the NL in runs, homers and

batting average, Santana was undeterred striking out eight while

walking five to lead New York (29-23) to an 8-0 victory. It marked

the 253rd no-hitter in major league history, but the first in the

Mets’ 51-season history.

“Finally, the first one,” Santana said. “That is the greatest

feeling ever.”

Santana caught a break in the sixth inning when former Met

Carlos Beltran, back at Citi Field for the first time since New

York traded him last July, hit a line drive over third base that

hit the foul line and should have been called fair. But third base

umpire Adrian Johnson ruled it foul and the no-hitter was


“It was in front of his face, and he called it foul. I thought

it was a fair ball,” Beltran said. “At the end of the day, one hit

wasn’t going to make a difference in the ballgame. We needed to

score more runs and we didn’t do that.”

The Cardinals (27-25), losers of three in a row, could again

have problems generating offense against Dickey (7-1, 3.06 ERA),

who was sensational in his last two starts.

After allowing a run, five hits and no walks with a career-best

11 strikeouts in a 3-2 win over Pittsburgh on May 22, Dickey

yielded three hits and a walk while striking out 10 in 7 1-3

innings in Sunday’s 2-0 win over San Diego. Prior to facing the

Pirates, Dickey had one double-digit strikeout game in the first

114 starts of his career.

“The knuckleball is a funny thing. It’s very enigmatic,” he

said. “Overall, I felt pretty good with where it’s at.”

Although he had no trouble shutting down the Padres and Pirates,

the NL’s worst two teams in runs scored and batting average, the

right-hander was very good last month regardless of the


In May, Dickey went 4-0 with the majors’ fifth-best ERA (1.83),

and the Mets won all five of his starts. New York, which has won

five of seven, is 8-2 with the knuckleballer on the mound.

Dickey struggled a bit in his lone start of 2011 against the

Cardinals, permitting four runs and eight hits in 6 1-3 innings of

the Mets’ 10-inning win on July 20.

While the Cardinals could have some problems scoring runs

Saturday, the same might be true for the Mets.

Probable starter Lance Lynn (8-1, 2.54) is coming off what St.

Louis manager Mike Matheny said was “probably his best game.”

Lynn gave up two runs, five hits and a walk while matching a

career best with eight strikeouts over seven innings in Monday’s

8-2 win over Atlanta. The Cardinals are hopeful that outing can get

the right-hander back on track after he had a 5.00 ERA in his

previous three outings. He had posted a 1.40 ERA in winning his

first six starts.

In his only career outing against the Mets on July 20, Lynn gave

up a run in 1 2-3 innings of relief.

He’ll have to be careful pitching to Lucas Duda, who hit a

three-run homer Friday and drove in a career high-tying four runs.

He has seven RBIs in his last two games after driving in three over

his previous 12.

Matt Holliday, who had four straight multihit games heading into

Friday, has given Dickey trouble, going 3 for 6 with a double.