If he's able to use a knife and fork, Mike Baxter probably deserves a nice steak dinner courtesy of Johan Santana.
The New York Mets pitcher threw the first no-hitter in Mets history on Friday night. But if it wasn't for a great play by Baxter (and a bad call by an umpire), Santana's historic game would have merely been a really good game. A great catch by Baxter preserved Santana's no-no and is the game-changing moment of the week.
In the top of the seventh inning, on Santana's 101st pitch of the game and just eight outs away from the no-hitter, St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina sent a 3-1 pitch to deep left field. Baxter tracked the ball and made a great catch before crashing hard into the wall.
The 28-year-old from Queens, N.Y., held on to ball but stayed down on the warning track in obvious pain.
Baxter walked off the field on his own with trainers, but watched the end of the game from the sideline. And he'll be there for a while. Baxter, who was making just his 21st career start in left field, dislocated the joint between his right collarbone and sternum and tore rib cartilage on his right side.
He's expected to miss at least six weeks – a small price to pay for helping Santana. "I'm glad I had a chance to be part of it. It's a great night for the Mets," Baxter said.
"When I saw him running back onto the warning track and he made that play, it was amazing. An outstanding play and he saved the game," Santana said. "All these guys, I want to thank them for what we accomplished."
Baxter wasn't the only casualty on the night. Reliever Ramon Ramirez will also be placed on the disabled list after straining his right hamstring during the postgame celebration. Ramirez didn't even make it to the pile in the infield, he felt pain while running in from the Mets' bullpen.
The other footnote on an historic night was what happened one inning before Baxter's catch. Cardinals slugger Carlos Beltran – a former Met making his first appearance at Citi Field since being traded last July – hit a line drive over third base that hit the foul line.
Third base umpire Adrian Johnson ruled it foul, but replays showed it was clearly a fair ball. "I saw the ball hitting outside the line, just foul," Johnson told a reporter.
Replays showed a mark on the chalk line where the ball hit, but the no-hitter remained intact.
Colorado Rockies outfield Dexter Fowler had a week to remember. The often maligned centerfielder put up numbers usually reserved for the likes of Willie Mays.
In seven games last week Fowler went 15-for-27, scored 13 runs, hit two home runs, drove in eight runs and stole three bases. His slash line for the week was a ridiculous .556/.636/.963.
Fowler had back-to-back three-RBI games on Monday and Wednesday. Monday's game included a walk-off RBI triple in the bottom of the 10th as the Rockies completed a doubleheader sweep of the Astros.
The boost in productivity came with Fowler's return to the leadoff spot in the lineup. But to really put Fowler's week into perspective, consider that he began the week batting .237 on the season. By the end of Sunday night's win over the Dodgers, he was batting .298. His OPS went from .832 to .982.