By Joe Rini
Time will tell whether 2022 will be a special season for the New York Mets. However, there seems to be no reason to doubt that it will happen if Friday’s events are any indication. April 29th was a special night at Citi Field. 32,416 fans cheered on a chilly night as five Mets pitchers combined to no-hit the Philadelphia Phillies in a 3–0 victory. Coming in the Mets’ 61st season, it was only the second no-hitter in franchise history.
Five Mets Pitchers Make History
Winning pitcher Tylor Megill (4–0) pitched five hitless innings before handing the ball and the 2–0 lead to reliever Drew Smith. Smith, Joely Rodriguez, and Seth Lugo subsequently combined to keep the Phillies hitless and scoreless through eight innings. With the no-hitter at stake, the sometimes maligned closer, Edwin Diaz, etched this night into the Mets history books. He closed the no-hitter by striking out Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos, and J.T. Realmuto on 13 pitches.
Brandon Nimmo’s defense saved the no-hitter before anyone thought about a no-hitter. His diving catch in right-center in the third inning off the bat of Jean Segura set the stage for the late innings drama. Jeff McNeil singled in two runs in the fifth and Pete Alonso’s sixth-inning home run supplied the offense.
No-hitter? What No-hitter?
Interestingly, Diaz was the only reliever who admitted being aware of the no-hitter at stake. Diaz said, “When I came in the ninth, I was realizing that we got a no-hitter, but at the same time, you gotta make pitches.” Speaking of the combined no-hitter at the postgame press conference, Megill said, “I’m ecstatic. It’s crazy.” However, catcher James McCann drew a laugh when he subsequently commented about the soft-spoken Megill, “Can’t you see how excited he is?”
Johan Santana pitched the first no-hitter in Mets history on June 1, 2012, against the St. Louis Cardinals. He threw 134 pitches on his surgically repaired shoulder may have shortened his career. While 159 pitches were thrown in this no-hitter, they were economically distributed among the five Mets pitchers.