Tylor Megill spent most of spring training as an afterthought, headed for either the bullpen or the minor leagues.
A shoulder injury to Jacob deGrom changed everything for him — and he has spent the early part of the season taking advantage of this unexpected opportunity.
Friday night, the 26-year-old right-hander began a memorable night for the Mets, tossing the first five innings of their combined no-hitter over the Phillies in a 3-0 win at Citi Field.
“I’m ecstatic. It’s crazy,” Megill said after improving to 4-0. “It’s cool. It’s obviously a very big moment.”
Because of his high pitch-count of 88, Megill lasted just five innings. Drew Smith, Joely Rodriguez, Seth Lugo and Edwin Diaz followed him with four no-hit innings for the 17th combined no-hitter in MLB history and second no-hitter in Mets history.
“It was exciting, obviously,” Megill said after the Mets completed the first no-hitter of the season for any club. “It’s a team game and all of these guys came in, filled up the zone, did their job, just fearless and attacking hitters. It’s the first one that I’ve been a part of, and I’m glad it’s with this group of guys. I’m just proud of these guys.”
Megill wasn’t at his sharpest in those five innings. He walked three and threw 43 pitches over the first two frames. But he made big pitches when he needed them, and got out of his lone jam in the fifth, striking out Odubel Herrera with a high fastball to strand two Phillies on base.
“He made some quality pitchers when he had to,” manager Buck Showalter said.
After departing, Megill’s ERA stood at a miniscule 1.93. He has yet to give up a run against the rival Phillies in 10 ¹/₃ innings and became just the third Mets starting pitcher to finish an outing without allowing a hit in at least five innings.
The others were Johan Santana and Sid Fernandez. Santana threw the only other no-hitter in Mets history on June 1, 2012, while Fernandez tossed five no-hit innings on May 15, 1987, before leaving the game with a sprained left knee.
An eighth-round pick in 2018 out of the University of Arizona, the 6-foot-7 Megill came out of nowhere as a rookie to give the Mets a jolt last season before fading down the stretch as his innings rose. He’s been even better this year, pitching well beyond expectations.
“Obviously the circumstances of what happened [we didn’t want],” Megill said, referring to deGrom’s shoulder injury. “I’m just going out there and doing my thing. I try not to think about it too much.”