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NEW YORK — Tylor Megill, who started the second no-hitter in Mets historical past, was unaware of what he had began till lengthy after he left the mound. Drew Smith and Seth Lugo have been within the coach’s room when the tv broadcast tipped them off; they rushed out to the dugout for the ninth. So did Joely Rodríguez, who was receiving therapy as the belief washed over him. He, too, returned to the sector.
Solely Edwin Díaz understood the scenario whereas he was within the recreation, although by that time, it might have been tough for anybody at Citi Area to be caught unaware. When Díaz struck out Bryce Harper to open the ninth inning on Friday, the group was already largely on its toes. When Díaz fanned Nick Castellanos, extra rose from their seats. When he struck out J.T. Realmuto to cap the 3-0 victory over the Phillies and the 315th no-hitter in Main League historical past, Díaz pumped his fist, let loose a scream and allowed his teammates to envelop him.
“How usually do you see a no-hitter?” mused first baseman Pete Alonso, who contributed a solo homer to the victory. “It’s like seeing a white buffalo or a unicorn.”
Megill had by no means been part of one, even in Little League, however he performed essentially the most vital position in contributing the primary 15 outs. Few got here simply. Together with his velocity flagging and his management inconsistent, Megill wanted 88 pitches to finish 5 innings. He walked three batters and was the beneficiary of a diving Brandon Nimmo catch within the third inning that robbed Jean Segura of a success. Even at that time, supervisor Buck Showalter understood that Megill, a younger pitcher with workload issues, “clearly wasn’t going to complete the sport.”
And so the no-hitter grew to become much more of a unicorn, much more of a colorless buffalo. Of the 315 no-nos on the highest degree, solely 17 have been mixed efforts. Solely 27 have included not less than six walks. This one checked each such different containers, whereas additionally requiring extra pitches (159) than any no-hitter since pitch counts grew to become a broadly obtainable statistic in 1987.
To some, the mixed nature of the no-hitter would possibly cheapen the accomplishment. To the Mets, who’re working to construct a united crew identification, it aggrandized the feat.
“It’s one thing that [will] be in historical past endlessly,” mentioned James McCann, who caught all 9 innings. “Whether or not it’s one pitcher or 5 pitchers, it’s a no-hitter. It’s simply particular.”
From Megill, the Mets turned to Smith, who’s one in every of seven MLB pitchers to throw greater than 9 innings this season with out permitting a run. Smith struck out 4 of the 5 batters he confronted and departed to a standing ovation — his first clue that one thing vital was occurring.
Subsequent up was Rodríguez, a late-spring commerce acquisition who walked the primary batter he noticed, induced a double play on the following pitch, then introduced the Mets into the eighth with the no-no intact. Rodríguez handed the ball to Lugo, a stalwart of this pitching employees since 2016. He wanted solely 5 pitches to report two outs.
Lastly it was time for Díaz, who entered amid pulsing entrance music that introduced a lot of an introduced crowd of 32,416 to its toes. Many wore black shirts in solidarity with the Mets, who donned their black jerseys for the primary time this season.
“One of the simplest ways I can describe it’s you shake up a soda bottle, and also you’re simply ready for the cap to pop off,” Alonso mentioned. “I really feel like all of us knew what was going to occur as a result of all of our guys, once they obtained the ball, they have been simply lights-out.”
Again within the clubhouse, following some of the dominant innings of Díaz’s profession, the Mets blasted DMX songs as they jumped in place and danced to have fun. Megill referred to himself as “ecstatic,” whereas others poked enjoyable at his impassive exterior. Throughout the best way, the Phillies soothed themselves with platitudes, even whereas acknowledging the higher fact to which this no-hitter pointed.
“That’s a great Mets crew over there,” Harper mentioned. “I don’t assume they’re going wherever any time fast.”
In that sense, this no-hitter rang otherwise than the one which Johan Santana threw on June 1, 2012. That no-no, the primary in franchise historical past, offered a singular spotlight for an in any other case underwhelming Mets crew. It additionally eliminated the burden of historical past from Citi Area, opening the gate for others to observe.
“It’s one of many highlights that we see most frequently right here earlier than video games, after video games, throughout rain delays they all the time play that recreation once more,” Nimmo mentioned. “It’s one thing that you simply’re like, ‘I’d wish to be part of a recreation they only play over and over.’”
As one of many longest-tenured Mets, Nimmo endured a prolonged wait, even because the membership rose to prominence with one in every of baseball’s finest younger rotations. All through the league, 39 no-hitters came about after Santana’s, together with efforts from 18 completely different groups.
Now, the Mets have one other of their very own. It was unorthodox. It was quirky. However it was, as Nimmo put it, “a type of ones that you simply guys are going to be taking part in over and over.”
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