It was the top of the third inning with two outs when New York Mets center fielder Brandon Nimmo made the play of the game. Little did we know, it would be far more important a few innings later on in the night.
With nobody on base (something said often during Friday’s game), Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Jean Segura hit a sinking line drive into right-center field. Nimmo hopped on his horse, dove, and made the catch.
Brandon Nimmo had the “Mike Baxter catch” for the Mets in their latest no-hitter
Every no-hitter seems to have that one play that stands out. The later in the game it is, the more attention it will get. The deeper in the outfield it happens, the more spectacular it looks.
This catch by Nimmo was a good play yet not as spectacular as the more memorable Mike Baxter snag during the Johan Santana no-hitter from ten years ago. Baxter, who essentially saw his career stop dead after getting injured on the catch, remains a legendary Mets player because of the way he went after that fly ball. It’s possibly the most memorable play in Mets history right up there with Endy Chavez in the 2006 NLCS and Ron Swoboda in the 1969 World Series.
While Nimmo’s play won’t measure up with Baxter, it remains an essential one in Mets history. It’s also another reminder of how much he has developed as a center fielder in only the last year. He has become a reliable fielder out there and someone who has completely shushed any takes about him being nothing more than a fourth outfielder who belongs in the corners.
The combined no-hitter thrown by the Mets was as much of a team effort as any. Starter Tylor Megill gave them the first 15 outs. Drew Smith, Joely Rodriguez, Seth Lugo, and Edwin Diaz worked together to get the final 12.
The game wasn’t flashy nor did it include utter dominance from a single pitcher. Aside from Nimmo’s one catch, there wasn’t much danger at all.
The Mets invited the Phillies to their home territory for a ball game. They put on the black jerseys. They took care of business. A lot of missed barrels and routine outs capped off by three strikeouts from Diaz secured history for the Mets. They are officially back in black.