It was only a matter of time before baseball’s next no-hitter, and the way it unfolded was somewhat appropriate.
The New York Mets — one of the game’s biggest April success stories this year — blanked Philadelphia on Friday night. And it wasn’t a sterling performance by Max Scherzer or Jacob deGrom, but rather a team effort that required five pitchers and 159 pitches.
That’s baseball in 2022 so far. Offense is down, so the conditions are ripe for no-hitters, but teams have been careful with starting pitchers in the aftermath of the lockout.
In the very first series of the season, San Diego pulled Yu Darvish after six no-hit innings and then did the same when Sean Manaea went seven hitless innings the following game. Clayton Kershaw had a perfect game through seven against Minnesota, but also came out.
The Mets didn’t have a particularly difficult decision with their starter. Tylor Megill walked three in five innings and threw 88 pitches before he was taken out. Drew Smith, Joely Rodríguez and Seth Lugo kept the no-hitter going, and then Edwin Díaz struck out Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos and J.T. Realmuto in order to finish it.
Of those five pitchers, Díaz is the biggest name, although Megill (4-0, 1.93 ERA) is a big reason the Mets are out to a three-game lead in the NL East despite deGrom’s absence because of shoulder concerns.
At this point in the season, there have been as many combined no-hitters (one) as complete games. Walker Buehler is the only starter to go the distance so far, throwing a three-hit shutout Monday night at Arizona.
But that doesn’t mean the solo no-hitter is about to become an endangered species. Last year, there were nine no-hitters, and in seven of them, the starter went the whole way.
One team that isn’t benefitting from this…