0, the pain
April, 25, 2011
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com
Al Bello/Getty Images
Philip Humber was the third overall pick in the 2004 draft, by the Mets. Here he pitches against the Nationals in September 2007.
According to the excellent site nonohitters.com, six pitchers have produced a full no-hitter after leaving the Mets:
Nolan Ryan (seven)
Tom Seaver (Cincinnati Reds)
Mike Scott (Houston Astros)
Dwight Gooden (New York Yankees)
David Cone (New York Yankees)
Hideo Nomo (Boston Red Sox)
The site adds that Alejandro Pena was involved in a three-pitcher no-hitter with the Atlanta Braves shortly after being traded.
Humber, by the way, was sent to the Minnesota Twins in the Johan Santana deal with Carlos Gomez, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra. He bounced to Kansas City and Oakland before finding his way to the Chicago White Sox and Monday's start at Yankee Stadium.
My favorite recollection of Humber was his first spring training as a Met after being drafted. He unleashed a devastating full-count curveball for a called third strike to Miguel Cairo in an intrasquad game. Cairo turned to front-office executives in the stands and grinned. Gary Carter, a Mets minor league manager, walked by Humber's locker in Port St. Lucie afterward and said, "Fast track."
Humber, who had a quick wit, replied: "Fast track to St. Lucie."
Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander went second overall in the 2004 draft, and the Mets wanted him badly. With Verlander gone, Mets officials desperately wanted to draft Stephen Drew, but the highest levels of the organization were worried about the cost, and the Mets instead selected Humber, whom they viewed as a signable and "safe pick." He received $3 million. Drew eventually went 15th overall to the Arizona Diamondbacks and signed for $4 million.
Meanwhile, though he cannot be blamed, Humber played a role in the Mets' 2007 epic collapse. With the Mets determined to give Pedro Martinez extra rest between starts, the Mets started Humber in a Sept. 26 game against Washington. He allowed five runs in four innings as the Mets lost, 9-6. The Mets recklessly gave Brian Lawrence late-season starts as well to protect Martinez. And, well, you know how 2007 turned out.
The Mets, of course, have played 7,820 games in franchise history over 50 seasons without a no-hitter. Only one other franchise has failed to throw a no-hitter: the San Diego Padres.