There has been a lot of talk this season about the ‘no-hitter’ and lack of one by a pitcher in a New York Mets uniform. Ex-Mets minor leaguer Phil Humber tossing a perfect game on Saturday will only help fuel the conversation that the Mets history books are devoid of a no-no. However, while the New York Mets have never experienced the thrill of having one of their own throw a no-hitter, that doesn’t mean that the feat hasn’t been accomplished by someone wearing the blue and orange of their minor league affiliate.
Five times in the history of the Binghamton Mets a pitcher has blanked their opponents, not only in the run column but in the hit column as well. The first time it was done was in 1994 by Bill Pulsipher, one of the three ‘Generation K’ members as dubbed by the media at the time. It was September 13, 1994, game two of the Eastern League championship series, and Pulsipher and the B-Mets were taking on the Harrisburg Senators. In the game played in Harrisburg, Pulsipher had eight strikeouts and four walks, and the B-Mets won game two 2-0. They would go on to win the next two games and the series, three games to one, and bring an EL championship to the city for the second time in three seasons. Pulsipher’s no-no would be the first one in the Eastern League playoffs in 57 years.
The B-Mets second no-hitter was thrown by left handed pitcher Joe Crawford on May 5, 1996. Crawford’s no-no was part of a double header the Mets played that day against the Trenton Thunder, so the game was only seven innings long. Binghamton won the game by a score of 1-0. Crawford would compile a 5-1 record with the B-Mets that season, before being promoted to the Norfolk Tides.
It would be five seasons before the Binghamton Mets could add another no-hitter to their record books, and this time it would take the efforts of three different pitchers to do so. Donnie Wall, Jason Roach, and Ivan Montane combined to throw the nine inning blanking of the New Britain Rock Cats on June 27, 2001. The B-Mets won the game by a score of 1-0. At the time, this was actually the tenth time in Eastern League history that multiple pitchers combined for a no-hitter.
No-hitter number four came with 21 year old right hander Bob Keppel on the mound for the B-Mets on August 2, 2003. This would prove to be Binghamton’s last nine inning no-hitter to date, with Keppel and the Mets defeating the Portland Sea Dogs by a score of 3-0.
Number five, and the last to be thrown by a Binghamton Mets pitcher (so far) came on July 23, 2006 in a seven inning game. Venezuelan pitcher Miguel Pinango was, in fact, two outs away from throwing the B-Mets first perfect game. If not for an errant throw by Mets shortstop Corey Ragsdale, allowing the Sea Dogs right fielder Matt Van Der Bosch to reach first base safely, Pinango may have achieved what only five other pitchers in Eastern League history have. Instead, he struck out the next batter Chad Spann, and the following batter Luis Jiminez grounded out to complete the no-hitter.
So, keep the faith Mets fans. The no-no has been achieved by someone with ‘Mets’ on their chest, and it will only be a matter of time before the big club does it as well – ya just gotta believe.