Johan Santana will always have the distinction of being the first pitcher in Mets history to throw a no-hitter and that was a special evening at Citi Field on June 1, 2012. Add another one to the record books as five pitchers combined for the second no-hitter in Mets history, Friday evening at Citi Field.
So, when Edwin Diaz struck out the heart of the Phillies order, Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos, and J.T. Realmuto, swinging in the ninth, the Mets celebrated a historic moment.
Not lost in all of this was the Mets 3-0 win that continued to post the month of April with a Major League best 15-6 record. So, yes, the Mets have every reason to say that Friday night was fun. They are making believers around baseball and their fan base. 32,416 that were there last night, riding on every pitch.
The final pitching line:
-Tyler MeGill (5.0 innings,3 walks, 5 strikeouts) 88 pitches
-Drew Smith (1.1 innings, walk, 4 strikeouts, career high) 36 pitches
-Joely Rodriguez (1.0 inning, 2 walks) 17 pitches
-Seth Lugo (0.2 Inning, fourth straight scoreless outing) 5 pitches
-Edwin Diaz (1.0 Inning, 3 strikeouts) 13 pitches
This was the 17th time a team has thrown a combined no-hitter and 10th in the Wild Card era. This was not a no-no in Flushing, but a no-no-no-no-no. Santana on that June evening threw 134 pitches and will always be remembered as the solo no-hitter and first in Mets history.
Despite five pitchers being used, the emphasis on this one can’t be diminished in what is becoming a special season for the Mets. Megill became the third Met to toss five no- hit innings along with Sid Fernandez and Santana.
“Team game,” Megill (4-0) said. “I’m ecstatic. It’s crazy. First one I’ve been part of.”
Manager Buck Showalter managed his first no-hitter since that memorable Jim Abbott outing with the Yankees against Cleveland in 1993. But he said the win was more important because this was the Mets and Phillies who are division rivals and these games in April are important.
”What a job the rest of the guys did against a really good hitting lineup too,” Showalter said. “It’s fun to watch.”
It’s obvious this is a team that pulls for each other. Showalter took in the historic moment. He did not leave the post game podium until there were six seats for the stars of this game that included catcher James McCann.
“You start paying attention about the sixth, seventh inning,” McCann said. “You start hearing the crowd getting into it, realizing there’s a chance for something special.”
When Santana made history at Citi Field he gave credit to his catcher, Josh Thole, and both will participate in the team’s Old Timers’ Day festivities on August 27. You have to believe McCann will one day return to Citi Field and joining him will be Megill, Smith, Rodriguez, Lugo, and Diaz.
Jeff McNeil hit a two-run single in the fifth inning to break a scoreless tie and Pete Alonso hit his fourth home run in the sixth. But these Mets pitchers were throwing everything past the Phillies hitters and the no-hit momentum began to build as it did with Santana, also on a Friday night at Citi Field.
With the White Sox in 2019, McCann caught a no-hitter when he was behind the plate as Lucas Giolito tossed a gem.
“Especially with multiple guys,” McCann said as to why this one was special. “If it’s one guy, you’re on the same page all night. But trying to get on the same page with a lot of guys, it’s definitely special to be able to share it with so many people.”
“How often do you see a no-hitter?” Alonso said, “It’s like seeing a white buffalo or a unicorn.”
But these Mets can now say they were a part of baseball history in what has become a special first month of the season. A team that is having fun and a combined no-hitter that will be replayed year after year.
Rich Mancuso: [email protected] Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso