On June 1, 2012, Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in Mets history, a long-awaited achievement for a franchise with a storied pitching history.
On April 29, 2022, five pitchers—one starter and four relievers—joined him in Mets history, where they will stay forevermore.
Tylor Megill started. Drew Smith, Joely Rodriguez, Seth Lugo, and Edwin Díaz—in that order—each came in and did their their respective things. They threw a combined 159 pitches. And for the second time in Mets history, they surrendered zero hits.
Ironically, considering this was literally a no-Hitter, Megill was not sharp in his five innings of work. He had issues locating any of his secondary pitches, walking three. The pitcher known as Big Drip battled, through, working around each and every walk he surrendered to keep the Phillies off the board, ending his night with a strikeout of Oduebel Herrera, blowing a 96 MPH fastball directly past him to strand two baserunners. Despite the fact that he surrendered no hits, it was clearly time to turn this thing over to the Mets’ bullpen, a unit that has yet to find its footing on the young season.
Drew Smith came in for the sixth inning and did similar work. He threw 1.1 innings, recorded all of his outs via strikeout, but he labored through it. He walked one and threw 36 pitches, having to battle for each strike out he earned. Joely Rodriguez relieved Smith, walked Kyle Schwarber, and immediately got Alec Bohm to roll into a 6-4-3 double play. Rodriguez got one out in the eighth, walked Johan Carmargo, and gave the ball to Seth Lugo. Lugo induced two relatively easy pop ups, getting the game to the ninth inning.
Oh boy, that ninth inning. Edwin Díaz predictably got the ball for the ninth, and he was everything you could ask for and more in a closer on this day. Díaz had the herculean task of facing three of the better hitters in baseball in Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos, and J.T. Realmuto. The vibe was as tense as one would imagine when you are chasing history. Díaz was more than ready for it.
Díaz struck out the side with expert efficiency, doing so on 13 pitches (11 strikes). Frankly, all three looked completely outmatched. His slider, in Díaz’s own words after the game, was “nasty”, and he rode his signature pitch to likely the biggest save of his career thus far.
Of course, this could not have happened without some runs. While, and believe me, I know, no one will remember how the three runs were scored tonight, it is still important to note. Probably for trivia question-related purposes in like, 2035 or something.
Aaron Nola was quite good for most of his outing, matching zeros with Megill through the first four frames. It came apart for him in the fifth, starting with an Eduardo Escobar single off the glove of Jean Segura. Mark Canha decided yesterday was a perfectly acceptable time to record his first extra-base hit in orange and blue, and in last night’s case black, smoking a ball down the third base line for a double, moving Esocbar to third. Jeff McNeil rewarded Canha’s decision to get into scoring position by hitting a single to center, scoring two runs.
The Mets added a superfluous insurance run in the sixth, with Pete Alonso tattooing a poorly placed first pitch change up over the left field wall. It was a fun run, especially since Alonso has not looked completely himself so far in 2022.
The offense did more than enough. The pitching, while sometimes not very pretty, was effective. And all that adds up to one of the most magical nights in Queens in franchise history.
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Tylor Megill, +25.5% WPA
Big Mets loser: Starling Marte, -10.4% WPA
Mets pitchers: +40.3% WPA
Mets hitters: +9.7% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jeff McNeil’s fifth inning two RBI single, +15.3% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Kyle Schwarber’s fifth inning walk, -3.3% WPA