NEW YORK — Johan Santana came off the field after celebrating his no-hitter with his Mets teammates and saw manager Terry Collins waiting on the top step of the dugout. The two embraced and Santana said: "I told you to trust me."
"I said, 'Yeah you did,' " Collins said Saturday, a day after Santana threw the first no-hitter in team history — a wait of more than 50 years and 8,000 games.
Santana said his surgically repaired left shoulder felt fine in the aftermath of throwing a career-high 134 pitches.
Collins said he was conflicted about letting Santana pitch for so long against St. Louis but ultimately realized he was not going to deny the Mets ace a chance at making history. The former Angels skipper has been with the Mets for only two years, but he knew how much getting a no-hitter would mean to the organization and its fans.
"He wasn't coming out. I wasn't going to take him out," Collins said. "The fight that would have taken place on the mound had I taken him out would have been a bigger story than the no-hitter."
If Santana winds up missing more than a few days, that could overshadow one of the finest moments in team history. Santana wasn't thinking about that. Not with a no-hitter just a few outs away.
"When I had that situation there, I knew I have to take the most out of it. And then we'll figure it out tomorrow," Santana said. "(Saturday) I felt fine. Definitely, next couple days are going to be important to see how I recover, and if we have to take an extra day, there's nothing wrong with that.
"Terry and all the staff, they know what they're doing. We're going to do whatever's best for all of us. If that means taking an extra day, there's nothing wrong with that."
In other Mets news, OF Jason Bay, out more than a month with a nondisplaced fractured rib, was set to begin a rehab assignment at Class A St. Lucie.
VETERAN SIDELINED: Phillies RH reliever Jose Contreras was diagnosed with tears in his ulnar collateral ligament and his flexor pronator tendon. Contreras, 40, is out for the season.
CUBAN STAR ON MARKET: Slugging OF Jorge Soler, 20, a Cuban defector living in the Dominican Republic, was declared a free agent by Major League Baseball.
ORIOLES-YANKEES TRADE: Baltimore acquired OF/1B Steve Pearce from New York for cash. INF/OF Bill Hall was designated for assignment.
BREWERS: LF Ryan Braun sat out a day after aggravating an injury to his right Achilles tendon and straining his right hip.
MARINERS: Ace RHP Felix Hernandez is expected to make his next scheduled start after tweaking his back Friday night.
RED SOX: 2B Dustin Pedroia took batting practice, swinging a bat for the first time since slightly tearing a muscle in his right thumb five days earlier. Manager Bobby Valentine said the team hopes to avoid putting Pedroia on the disabled list.
ROCKIES: RHP Juan Nicasio left in the second inning with a strained left knee.
TWINS: RHP Carl Pavano will return to Minneapolis today to have an MRI exam on his sore pitching shoulder.