How do Phils bounce back from Mets' no-hitter? 'Forget it'

April 30th, 2022

NEW YORK -- It was only the third inning on Friday night at Citi Field. Nobody knew then it would be the Phillies’ best chance at a hit.

Phillies second baseman Jean Segura barreled an 0-1 slider from Mets right-hander Tylor Megill. It left his bat at 104.5 mph and carried on a line to right-center field. Balls hit like that typically fall for hits. In fact, balls hit exactly like that fall for hits 77 percent of the time, according to Statcast. But Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo honed in. He sprinted to his left and covered enough ground to make a diving catch to end the inning.

“It’s been like that all year long for me,” Segura said after the Phillies were no-hit for the 20th time in franchise history in a 3-0 loss.

It was a disappointing beginning to a big weekend series against the best team in baseball, especially after the Phillies swept the Rockies this week in a four-game series at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies entered New York feeling good about themselves. They had won six of their previous eight games. They had moved to .500 for the first time since mid-April.

They were hitting and pitching well.

But then Megill, Drew Smith, Joely Rodríguez, Seth Lugo and Edwin Díaz no-hit them. It sounds strange, but the Phillies were never out of the game, even until the end. The Mets walked them six times, so they had chances. They had the heart of the order up in the ninth, too. Díaz struck out Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos and J.T. Realmuto swinging to end it.

It was the Mets’ second no-hitter in franchise history.

It was the first time the Phillies have been no-hit since Josh Beckett threw a no-no for the Dodgers at Citizens Bank Park on May 25, 2014.

Afterward, the Phillies offered perspective.

“Forget it,” Castellanos said. “That’s the best way to bounce back. What are you going to learn from getting no-hit? You just forget it. Short-term memory. Have a good dinner, enjoy the night in New York City, get ready to play tomorrow.”

“No-hitter, complete game, it’s part of the game,” Segura said.

“We’ve got two more games here,” Harper said. “We just didn’t get it done. So sometimes that’s going to happen, sometimes your lineup just doesn’t show up, and we didn’t show up today and that can’t happen of course. So we need to go out there and do our job tomorrow and Sunday, as well.”

Phillies manager Joe Girardi has been in baseball a long time. He caught Dwight Gooden’s no-hitter with the Yankees in 1996. He caught David Cone’s perfect game in ‘99. He managed the Marlins in 2006, when Aníbal Sánchez threw a no-hitter.

“Well, the great thing is it only counts as one loss, right?” Girardi said. “It's a big deal. I've been involved with them -- I think always on the other side, though. I don't know if I've ever managed a game where we've been no-hit. But I've seen a lot of them. It's a real exciting time at the moment, but it's still one game.”

Megill has pitched 10 1/3 scoreless innings in two starts this season against the Phillies. They described his fastball as having “life,” “ride” and “hop” to it.

“I think he’s really good,” Harper said. “He’s got some really good stuff. He’s got really good length on his heater. It’s like you’re on it, and then you’re not. He does a great job of pitching. He pitches to his strengths, heater up, slider, change. I thought all around they threw the ball well tonight, and sometimes when that happens, things go right and, you know, no hits.”

The Phillies had been hitting the ball well for more than a week. They scored 32 runs in the Rockies series. They scored 48 in their 6-2 stretch. Things had been going so well that they got a little superstitious about it. It started Monday after a late report time following Sunday night’s 1-0 loss to the Brewers.

The Phillies decided to hit inside on Monday. They scored eight runs in a victory over the Rockies.

They hit inside again on Tuesday. They scored 10 runs.

It continued from there.

Maybe the Phillies hit outside on Saturday. Or maybe they say forget that, and continue to do what worked most of the week.

“Wash it down and get ready to get back into a series,” Castellanos said.

“Tomorrow’s a new day,” Girardi said.