A successful first month of the season doesn’t guarantee playoff success for the New York Mets or the franchise’s first championship in 36 years.
However, after Friday night, the Mets know they will have one moment from 2022 that will be replayed at Citi Field and on the team’s broadcasts forever.
The Mets will look to build off the momentum of the second no-hitter in team history Saturday night, when they host the Philadelphia Phillies in the middle game of a three-game series between the National League East rivals.
Taijuan Walker (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will come off the injured list to start for the Mets against Kyle Gibson (2-1, 3.47) in a battle of right-handers.
Five Mets pitchers combined to no-hit the Phillies in a 3-0 win Friday night.
Tylor Megill went five innings — and was put in position to earn the win when Jeff McNeil delivered a two-run single in the bottom of the fifth — before Drew Smith, Joely Rodriguez, Seth Lugo and Edwin Diaz got the final 12 outs in New York’s first no-hitter since Johan Santana’s gem against the St. Louis Cardinals on June 1, 2012.
“(The Santana no-hitter is) one of the highlights we see most often here — before games, after games, during rain delays,” Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo said. “It’s something that you’re like, ‘I’d like to be a part of a game that they play over and over again.’
“So I’m just trying to soak it all in and enjoy this night. It is one of those that you guys are going to be playing over and over again.”
The Mets, who have the best record in baseball at 15-6, have won their first six series of the season for the first time in franchise history. Their run differential of plus-36 is tied with the crosstown Yankees for third-best in baseball.
“I feel like we’re doing a really good job of answering the bell so far,” said first baseman Pete Alonso, who hit a solo homer in the sixth inning on Friday. “We just need to keep rolling — keep going and competing every day, just focusing on who’s in front of us that day.”
The Phillies, who arrived in New York after outscoring the Colorado Rockies 32-9 during a four-game series sweep, drew six walks Friday but didn’t come close to a hit after a diving Nimmo caught Jean Segura’s liner for the final out of the third inning.
“The great thing is it only counts as one loss, right?” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said with a chuckle after he was on the losing end of a no-hitter for the first time in his career as a player or manager.
Girardi caught Dwight Gooden’s no-hitter and David Cone’s perfect game with the Yankees and was the then-Florida Marlins manager when Anibal Sanchez threw a no-hitter in 2006.
“I’ve seen a lot of them, so it’s a real exciting time at the moment,” he said. “But it’s still one game.”
Walker made his only appearance of the season against the Phillies on April 11, when he retired all six batters he faced — four via strikeout — before exiting with a stiff shoulder. He threw four innings in a simulated game Monday.
He is 1-2 with a 3.15 ERA in seven career starts against Philadelphia.
Gibson recorded a win against the Rockies in his most recent start, when he allowed two runs over 5 2/3 innings in the Phillies’ 8-2 victory on Monday.
In five career starts vs. the Mets, Gibson is 1-3 with a 4.85 ERA.
–Field Level Media