The Mets and the Phillies had done this before in Flushing. On Father’s Day in 1964, Philadelphia’s Jim Bunning twirled an ideal game against the Mets at Shea Stadium. Bunning needed only 90 pitches in an effort now memorialized in Cooperstown, N.Y., on his Hall of Fame plaque.
If Bunning’s game was a masterpiece for a museum, Friday’s was something more fitted to the refrigerator door. Each are artworks. One is just slightly less perfect.
Mets 3, Phillies 0 | Box Rating | Play-by-Play
It took five Mets pitchers and 159 total pitches to no-hit the Phillies on Friday, winning by 3-0 at Citi Field. The starter, Tylor Megill, was pulled after 88 pitches and five innings. A bullpen relay of Drew Smith, Joely Rodríguez, Seth Lugo and Edwin Díaz finished it up, with the pitchers combining to issue six walks along the best way.
It added as much as the primary no-hitter within the majors this season, the seventeenth ever with multiple pitcher and the primary with precisely five. The 159 pitches are probably the most for a no-hitter since at the least 1988, when pitch-count data became widely available.
Smith, Rodríguez and Lugo said they were unaware of the no-hitter until the ninth inning. Seated with them at a postgame news conference, Díaz was incredulous: “So no person knew but me?” he said.
By the ultimate three outs, in fact, everybody knew. And as clunky because the box rating looks, Díaz ended the evening with a flurry of dominance, striking out three All-Stars — Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos and J.T. Realmuto — with hard, biting sliders.
The players burst onto the sphere, mobbing Díaz and showering one another with sunflower seeds. The victory lifted the Mets’ record to 15-6, one of the best within the majors. They’ve not lost a series yet.
“Probably the most impressive a part of our team is, if it’s not one guy that’s going to get you, it’s one other guy,” catcher James McCann said. “And that’s form of what you see tonight — guys picking up one another coming out of the pen, putting up more zeroes in multiple columns. That’s form of been the identity of our team early within the yr. It’s been a full team effort.”
Megill is now 4-0 with a 1.93 earned run average, numbers befitting Jacob deGrom, the injured ace he has replaced within the rotation. Megill said he had never been a part of a no-hitter at any level, and center fielder Brandon Nimmo — who dove to catch a sinking liner by Jean Segura within the third inning — had not, either.
McCann had, in 2020, when he caught Lucas Giolito’s complete-game no-hitter for the Chicago White Sox. But that game, McCann noted, was played without fans due to pandemic restrictions. The Mets sold 32,416 tickets for Friday’s game, and McCann made adjustments for the noise.
When Díaz arrived on the mound for the ninth, McCann told him he would use traditional signs — with fingers, that’s — as an alternative of the brand new PitchCom system, which sends the signs audibly, through a receiver within the pitcher’s cap.
“It’s going to be loud,” McCann warned Díaz, who was wanting to finish off hitters with the slider.
“It was really good today,” said Díaz, who has 17 strikeouts in 10 innings this season. “Within the bullpen, it was nasty. I knew he would call the slider loads because I’m facing the guts of the order.”
Lugo, who got the last two outs of the eighth, had retreated to the burden room for the ninth inning. While Díaz warmed up, Lugo noticed on the Mets’ broadcast — called by Gary Cohen, who was celebrating his sixty fourth birthday — that the Phillies had gotten no hits.
“Drew, don’t say nothing, but look,” Lugo told Smith. “We want to get outside.”
So that they crowded into the dugout with their teammates, including Pete Alonso, who had homered within the sixth inning but was removed for defense within the ninth. Alonso said the dugout felt like a soda can, shaken up but still capped, able to explode. The closest he had ever come to experiencing a no-hitter, Alonso said, was watching highlights on television.
“You get this, like, super-tingly feeling of pleasure,” he said. “You’re like, I hope that is it, I hope he doesn’t hit a broken-bat duck fart over anyone’s head or anything. You’re just praying, like, please, please, please let this occur.”
For a long time, those prayers were never answered for the Mets. It took them until their 51st season, in 2012, to get their first no-hitter — by Johan Santana, also on a Friday at Citi Field. Santana threw 134 pitches, including one which was stung by the St. Louis Cardinals’ Carlos Beltran. It landed in fair territory but was called foul, preserving Santana’s gem.
After so many near-misses — including two bids by Tom Seaver broken up within the ninth inning — the Mets were probably due for a cosmic break. However the postscript was sobering for Santana, who made only 10 more starts within the majors, with an 8.27 E.R.A., before shoulder trouble ended his profession.
The Mets are taking no probabilities with Megill, who has made 23 major league starts and never yet thrown 100 pitches. They needed to make use of Rodríguez and Lugo, Manager Buck Showalter said, because neither had pitched shortly. Those pitchers did their job, and Smith and Díaz were simply overwhelming, fanning seven of the eight batters they faced.
It is way too early to say, for certain, that things are finally breaking the Mets’ way. However the team has played 9,507 games in its history and Friday’s was just the second no-hitter. As imperfect because it was, the achievement was something that the players, the fans — and broadcasters turning 64 — will remember once they become older, losing their hair, a few years from now.