The New York Mets returned from a six-game road trip to open a three-game weekend series with the Philadelphia Phillies on April 29, 2022. The Mets, who had upgraded their roster over the offseason by adding starting pitchers Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt, reliever Adam Ottavino, and outfielders Starling Marte and Mark Canha, were 14-6 and led the National League East Division by three games over the Miami Marlins, with the Phillies in third place, four games out.
A crowd of 32,416 showed up at Citi Field to see New York play its division rivals – and witnessed five Mets pitchers secure a spot in history with the franchise’s second-ever no-hitter.
The Phillies had finished 2021 at 82-80, their first winning mark since 2011 and five games ahead of the Mets, but 6½ games behind the division-winning – and World Series champion – Atlanta Braves. Philadelphia had signed free agents Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos to bolster its offense in 2022; the two sluggers joined outfielder Bryce Harper, catcher J.T. Realmuto, and pitcher Zach Wheeler among high-visibility additions in recent seasons. The Phillies, 10-10, were on a four-game winning streak when the team arrived at Citi Field.
Tylor Megill started for the Mets. The 26-year-old right-hander, who had made 18 starts as a rookie in 2021, was added to the rotation in 2022 when Jacob deGrom was injured, then became manager Buck Showalter’s Opening Day starter on April 7 when another injury sidelined Scherzer. On that day, Megill pitched five scoreless innings, allowing just three hits, in the Mets’ win over the Washington Nationals. He became the fourth Opening Day starter in Mets history to strike out at least six batters with no runs allowed, joining Tom Seaver, Noah Syndergaard, and deGrom.
Megill won three of his first four starts and faced the Phillies with a 2.35 ERA. It was his second start of the season against Philadelphia; he gave up just three hits and no runs in 5⅓ innings in the Mets’ 2-0 win on April 12.
Megill’s dominance over the Phillies continued for five more innings at Citi Field. Schwarber on a second-inning walk was Philadelphia’s only baserunner in the first four innings. Center fielder Brandon Nimmo provided the defensive play of the game in the third when he robbed Jean Segura of a hit with a diving catch. Racing to his left, Nimmo dove at the last second to catch the ball and keep the Phillies hitless.
In the fifth, Schwarber walked again, then stole second. After Alec Bohm struck out, Didi Gregorius walked. But Megill closed the frame by fanning Odubel Herrera for his fifth strikeout. It was the closest Philadelphia came to scoring all evening.
To that point, Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola had matched Megill in shutout innings. Nola, who finished 2021 with a 9-9 record and a 4.63 ERA, had struggled early in 2022. He entered the game with a 1-2 record and a 3.74 ERA. The last time Nola faced the Mets, he lasted only 3⅓ innings in New York’s 9-6 win on April 13.
After giving up two singles in the first, Nola retired the next 10 Mets batters. With the game still scoreless, New York finally got the best of him in the fifth. Eduardo Escobar led off with a single. After Robinson Canó struck out, Canha doubled. Jeff McNeil’s single to left field scored Escobar and Canha to give the Mets a 2-0 lead.
Showalter made a pitching change in the sixth. He “turned to reliever Drew Smith as a means of playing the long game with Megill, who looks like an important part of New York’s rotation,” noted CBS Sports writer R.J. Anderson.1
The right-handed Smith had been used as a reliever since joining the Mets in a 2017 trade with the Tampa Bay Rays for Lucas Duda. After splitting his time between New York and the Triple-A Syracuse Mets in 2021, he was added to the Opening Day roster in 2022. Smith had made eight relief appearances in April, striking out nine, before Showalter called on him to relieve Megill.
Smith struck out four of the five batters he faced, and the Phillies were still hitless when Showalter made another pitching change with two outs in the seventh. He brought in left-hander Joely Rodriguez, a former Phil, to face the left-handed Schwarber.2 Rodriguez walked Schwarber, but Bohm hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
The Mets made it 3-0 in the seventh on Pete Alonso’s solo blast over the left-field wall, his fourth home run in April, and Rodriguez returned in the eighth. After Johan Camargo walked with one out, Showalter called on his bullpen again.
Seth Lugo, a right-hander, had started 18 games for the Mets in 2017 but spent the next four years in the bullpen. Lugo completed the eighth and kept the no-hitter going by getting two Phillies batters to pop out. Showalter told reporters after the game that he used both pitchers because they hadn’t pitched in several days.
The Mets were scoreless in the eighth, and Showalter brought in closer Edwin Díaz in the ninth. Díaz arrived as his signature trumpet song, “Narco,” blared across the ballpark.3 The right-hander, who came into 2022 with 173 saves in six big-league seasons, entered with 14 strikeouts and three saves in nine 2022 appearances.
At this point, Lugo had gone to the Mets clubhouse. As he watched Díaz warm up, he heard Mets television announcer Gary Cohen say that the Phillies had not gotten any hits. Lugo called over to Smith and told him, “Drew, don’t say nothing, but look. We need to get outside.”6
The two relievers crowded into a dugout where every player was on his feet. Alonso said the atmosphere in the dugout felt like “a soda can, shaken up, but still capped, ready to explode.”7
“You get this, like, super-tingly feeling of excitement.You’re like, I hope this is it, I hope he doesn’t hit a broken-bat duck fart over somebody’s head or anything. You’re just praying, like, please, please, please let this happen.”8
Díaz used his slider for three straight strikeouts against the heart of the Phillies’ lineup: Harper, Castellanos, and Realmuto. It took just 13 pitches to close out the no-hitter. “[The slider] was really good today,” said Díaz. “In the bullpen, it was nasty. I knew he would call the slider a lot because I’m facing the heart of the order.”9
As soon as Díaz recorded the third out, the Mets players mobbed him at the mound with a shower of sunflower seeds.
Showalter saluted his pitchers after the game, saying, “It was a great night for the pitchers. Playing a team that’s hot, you’re hoping to get a quality start. You have to have some things happen that don’t normally happen. … They happened.”10
It took the Mets 50 years from their inaugural season in 1962 to get their first no-hitter. The first one came a little less than a decade earlier when Johan Santana accomplished the feat on June 1, 2012. Mets fans waited more than 1,000 games to see the second. But the wait was finally over.
The combined no-hitter was the 17th in major-league history and the first no-hitter of the 2022 season. It was also the second no-hitter between the Mets and Phillies. The first one came on June 21, 1964, when the Phillies’ Jim Bunning threw a perfect game at Shea Stadium, beating the Mets 6-0. Bunning threw only 89 pitches in his win; the Mets pitchers needed 159 pitches to earn the team’s second no-hitter.
“The most impressive part of our team is, if it’s not one guy that’s going to get you, it’s another guy,” said McCann. “And that’s kind of what you see tonight – guys picking up each other coming out of the pen, putting up more zeroes in multiple columns. That’s kind of been the identity of our team early in the year. It’s been a full team effort.”11
“Santana’s was unique and dramatic for so many reasons,” said Mets radio announcer Howie Rose, who had been in the broadcast booth for both Mets no-hitters. “Even though Friday night’s game didn’t have all of that going for it, my stomach was really churning in the eighth and ninth. The crowd had a lot to do with that, too. The fans have been absolutely stoked.”12
It was not the only time the Phillies were victims of a multipitcher no-hitter in 2022. They finished third behind the Braves and Mets but reached the postseason as a wild card and won the NL pennant by taking series from the St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Padres. In Game Four of the World Series, four Houston Astros pitchers silenced Philadelphia in a 5-0 win, only the second no-hitter in World Series history.
This article was fact-checked by Bruce Slutsky and copy-edited by Len Levin.
In addition to the sources cited in the Notes, the author used the Baseball-Reference.com and Retrosheet.org websites for box-score, player, team, and season pages, pitching and batting logs, and other pertinent material. A YouTube video with highlights of the game is provided.
1 R.J. Anderson, “Mets Pitch No-Hitter vs. Phillies,” CBSSports.com, April 29, 2022. https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/mets-pitch-no-hitter-vs-phillies-tylor-megill-and-four-new-york-pitchers-combine-for-first-no-no-of-2022/live/. Megill saw limited action in May and June after a shoulder strain sidelined him. The Mets placed him on the 60-day injured list. The right-hander struggled when he returned in September. He made no starts and his ERA was 6.00 in his six innings of work.
3 “Narco” was written and recorded by Blasterjaxx and Timmy Trumpet and released in 2017. Matt Monagan, “The Story Behind the Best Closer Song in Baseball,” MLB.com, August 11, 2022, https://www.mlb.com/news/edwin-diaz-closer-song.
4 The PitchCom was implemented during the 2022 season after being used in the minors during the 2021 season and then tested with major-league teams during 2022 spring training. It is an electronic device that allows catchers to send pitch signals to pitchers. Catchers press a button on a wristband that transmits an audio signal to the pitchers telling them what pitch to throw.
5 Tyler Kepner, “The Mets Have an Imperfect Night to Remember,” New York Times, April 29, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/29/sports/baseball/tylor-megill-mets-no-hitter.html
10 Joe Pantorno, “Mets Throw Combined No-Hitter to Blank Phillies; Second No-No in Franchise History,” AMNY.com, April 29, 2022. https://www.amny.com/sports/mets-throw-combined-no-hitter-to-blank-phillies-second-no-no-in-franchise-history/.
12 Mike Vaccaro, “Mets Achieve One of Tom Seaver’s Ultimate Dreams with Combined No-hitter,” New York Post, April 30, 2022. https://nypost.com/2022/04/30/mets-achieve-tom-seavers-dream-with-combined-no-hitter/.