A day after the greatest pitching performance in Mets history, the greatest pitcher in Mets history weighed in. And Tom Seaver said Johan Santana's no-hitter Friday against the Cardinals — the first the Mets have had in their 51 seasons — will be a load off the entire franchise.

"Honestly, not having a no-hitter was an anomaly," Seaver said in a statement. "It's great to get this off the franchise's back. Now they can't say the Mets are without a no-hitter.''

The Mets' 8,019 games without a no-hitter had been the most in major league history according to the Elias Sports Bureau, and though Seaver didn't learn about it until yesterday morning, his response was like any Mets fan: Finally.

"I've never met Johan personally, but, what I've heard about him is that he has a big heart and is a huge competitor,'' Seaver said. "I didn't watch the game last night. I found out when I picked up the morning paper. My first reaction was, 'Wow, they finally did it.' "